Over 100 people will gather next week in Alofi, Niue to discuss an issue that is at the forefront of the region - climate change.
The Pacific Climate Change Roundtable (PCCR), held every two years, is bringing together participants from all the countries and territories in the region and the different organisations that have an interest in climate change and its impacts, seeking to help pave a way forward on how we address this.
Next week in Niue, it will also be an opportunity to hear of achievements made based upon the outcomes of the last PCCR which was hosted in the Marshall Islands in 2009.
"Climate change has always been a high priority for us, we are looking forward to people coming to Niue for the meeting and we hope the outcomes will be successful for everyone." said Niue's Premiere, Mr. Toke Talagi.
"In Niue we understand the importance of ensuring we can build our resilience through climate change mitigation and adaption, but we are also working to ensure that we can build our economic resilience and sustain our own developments over the long term."
The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has worked with partners over the past months to ensure the meeting has a regional view and input.
It is hoped the PCCR will bring about better dialogue and contact between professionals, technical officers and people who work on climate change. It is planned that these discussions will have a specific focus on areas such as the SPREP study on climate change finance.
"For SPREP it's a very important meeting, we take the view that is a meeting for the region as we've worked with other regional agencies and key donors to collaborate on the agenda and we'll continue to collaborate as we move forward," said Mr. David Sheppard, Director of SPREP.
Mr. Andrew Yatilman, Director of the Office of Environment and Emergency Management in the Federated States of Micronesia is looking forward to the PCCR helping to open doors with accessing funding towards climate change adaptation.
"We have been doing planning and a lot of discussion in meetings over this month, but we notice that the actual implementation of adaptation projects is not happening because of no resources. We hope the meeting in Niue will come up with concrete actions on how to access funding towards climate change adaptation."
The Cook Islands will also be attending the PCCR in Niue next week, and the new Government has put climate change as an issue of high priority for them and they are looking forward to a successful PCCR meeting.
"The environment is our number one asset, it underpins our tourism industry which is our number one economic driver and if we don't look after it or fix it the problems associated with it very quickly, we put at risk our ability to earn through the tourism industry," stated Mr. Mark Brown, the Minister of Finance for the Cook Islands.
For more information on the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable, 2011 in Alofi Niue, please visit www.sprep.org/climate_change/PCCR
The meeting will be held in Alofi, Niue from 14 to 18 March, 2011.