The 4th Pacific Ocean Pacific Climate Change Conference (POPCCC) has closed with a renewed commitment from delegates to step up local, regional and global action to counter climate change, to ensure future custodians of our lands and oceans are endowed with a healthy planet that allows them to thrive and prosper.

The meeting also agreed for the 5th iteration of the POPCCC to be held in the Solomon Islands in 2026.

The announcement was made at the official closing of the POPCCC at the National University of Samoa (NUS) on Thursday, after three days of fruitful discussions on ways to address climate change, the greatest existential threat Pacific countries face.

“As we draw this conference to a close, let’s not forget that our journey does not end here. The wisdom and understanding we’ve acquired in these past days should serve as a catalyst for action and transformation in our respective fields,” said Professor Tuifuisa’a Patila Malua Amosa, the Vice Chancellor and President of NUS.

“I know you’ve also built new friendships and added new contacts to your networks. Thank you all once again for your participation and contribution to this important cause. Together, we can make a difference.”

It was officially opened by Samoa’s Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mataafa on Tuesday. The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga, Hu’akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni, addressed the conference on Thursday. They were amongst the keynote speakers including Miss Pacific Islands and Miss Samoa, Moemoana Safa’atoa Schwenke, who amplified the voice of youths during the discussions.

SPREP’s Director General, Sefanaia Nawadra added his voice to that of the National University of Samoa and Victoria University of Wellington to thank all the delegates and the sponsors who made the conference possible.

“It has been a pleasure to co-host you over the past three days for our 4th Pacific Oceans Pacific Climate Change Conference. It has been a platform for talanoa and exchange on ongoing, emerging and innovative solutions, research, technologies and opportunities to address climate change issues in the region,” Nawadra said.

“We would like to acknowledge our, partners from governments, Non-government Organisations and the Private Sector and Members of our Ocean and Climate Scientific Community. The generous support from the donor community and our Emerald sponsors the Government of New Zealand, Government of Australia and the Asian Development Bank.”

Professor Alberto Costi, Professor of Law at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) reminded that the POPCCC exists to encourage meaningful conversations and come up with solutions to counter the impacts of climate change.

“Obviously there were times during our discussions this week where the scenario was doom and gloom, which we cannot deny but what I find encouraging, as it was also highlighted by Prime Minister Fiame of Samoa, as well as Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku of Tonga is that there is still hope,” he said. “This gives meaning to the work we are doing and we look forward to continuing this in the coming years.”

The Vice Chancellor of Solomon Islands National University, Professor Dr Transform Aqorau, welcomed the decision by the meeting for Solomon Islands to be the next host, and said they look forward to welcome the delegates in 2026.

The fourth Pacific Ocean Pacific Climate Change Conference (4POPCCC) from 20-24 May 2024 is held in Apia, Samoa.

Jointly organised by the National University of Samoa (NUS), the Pacific Climate Change Centre (PCCC) hosted at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), the conference was guided by the theme: ‘Our Ocean, Our Home: Climate Resilience for a Blue Pacific.