17 March, Alofi, Niue - The Pacific Climate Change Roundtable in Alofi, Niue has come to an end. Four days of intensive deliberations on climate change issues has provided a clear way forward for the region.
In his closing statement today, Hon. Toke Talagi, Premier of Niue expressed the need for politicians and government leaders to be involved in the discussions in future as they help drive climate change issues on the international scenes.
His Government and country were commended for their generosity and welcoming spirit, providing a friendly backdrop to the discussions, by the Director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Mr. David Sheppard.
One of the key outcomes of the PCCR is it has a steering committee to ensure effective coordination and collaboration which will continue to play a role after the roundtable. One of the major aims of this Roundtable is its' intention to be inclusive, rather than exclusive. This was made clear with the participation of the civil society, donors, development partners, country participants - all stakeholders were welcome to attend this conference.
"Ambassador Feturi (H.E Aliioaiga Feturi Eisaia) reminded us that "No-one has a monopoly on good ideas". Everyone has been able to participate here as equals – this Roundtable has provided a neutral forum for the exchange of ideas and experience," said Mr. Sheppard in this closing statement.
"When we look back at the last roundtable we can see that the focus has shifted from process to substance. Congratulations to you all."
A Terms of Reference was endorsed for the Roundtable. The living document will be adapted in line with changing circumstances.
Coordinators and terms of References were formed for the four working groups – mitigation, adaptation, climate change resources, and climate change information and knowledge management. During the PCCR, the working groups met to provide clear and practical recommendations that link with existing processes in the region. For example, the Climate Resources working group will provide input to and support the existing processes led by the Pacific Forum Economic Ministers Meeting.
"In terms of the agenda and outcomes, this time there was much more involvement of Governments, NGO's, development partners and as a result of that the discussion was much more focussed and useful," said David Sheppard.
"There was good discussion on a lot of key issues like financing, adaptation, mitigation and I think most importantly we have a clear way forward, we have working groups, each working group has good leadership with clear and effective work programmes. So I think this really reinforces the PCCR as the premiere forum for discussion of climate change issues in this region."
The next Pacific Climate Change Roundtable will be held in 2013 the venue of the next meeting is still not confirmed.