Climate change is the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific, says Forum Deputy Secretary General Dr Filimon Manoni.
While opening the Regional Climate Security Dialogue Wednesday, Dr Manoni said in making the Boe Declaration on Regional Security, Leaders asked that ‘we unify efforts behind one priority cause: securing our sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of the impacts of climate change’.
“That was the position of Leaders in 2018, and it remains the position of Leaders today.
“Through the recent release of 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, our Leaders reiterated the region’s expanded concept of security, highlighting the many impacts of climate change and disasters and their threats to the future of the region’s people and the statehood of many Pacific nations.
“To achieve our Leader’s ambition of securing our sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of the impacts of climate change, we need to first understand the impacts that climate change will have on the regional security landscape” said Dr Manoni.
Research and evidence-based knowledge products such as the regional Climate Security Assessment Framework that you will be deliberating on today and tomorrow are an important step in helping us to do just that, he said.
“This Assessment Framework should help to provide an evidence base for the Leaders’ regional position that climate change is the single greatest threat to the security and wellbeing of Pacific Peoples.
“I’m pleased that you are all here today, in-person and online, to further shine a spotlight on climate change as a security issue. I encourage you to share your knowledge with our visiting team here today.
“I also encourage you to take advantage of having these specialists from across the globe here to bring some global perspectives and experiences to our regional conversation on climate security,” he said.
At the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, he said their key focus is delivering the Leaders’ vision of a region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion, and prosperity.
“Your work today and tomorrow is important, and appreciated, and will help us all achieve that vision,” Dr Manoni said.