The New Zealand government is committing US$3 million towards climate change assessment.
The Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aupito William Sio, made the announcement at the Oour Ocean conference in Palau.
He said the funds would go to the University of the South Pacific and the University of Canterbury.
Aupito said the framework for the fund is still being worked through.
Meanwhile, a Northern Marianas representative at the Our Ocean Conference wants to see strong ocean policies and commitments from leaders and key stakeholders.
Representive Sheila Babauta said there was a number of challenges facing the CNMI when it comes to the ocean.
In 2021, Babauta introduced a joint resolution condemning Japan’s plan to dump treated nuclear waste from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean.
“We have a long history of militarisation in the CNMI and the build-up is increasing. This forces me to think of the impact of militarisation and the toxic chemicals, the damage that it has done to Coral reefs,” she said.
A Pacific youth delegate at the conference said he’s keen to see more research on the potential environmental degredation on seabed mining.
Antony Vavia was a speaker on the Indigenous-led Conservation panel at the conference.
He said one of the important things for the Cook Islands is trying to bring attention to issues around their waters.
Antony Vavia said sedbed mining is an issue that can not be ignored.
SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS