Small in size, but mighty in environmental leadership, the atoll island of Tokelau supports the call for urgent action as outlined in the Vemööre Declaration: Commitments to nature conservation action in the Pacific Islands region, 2021-2025.
The Declaration was endorsed during the virtual 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, for which Nature Conservation Actions for a Resilient Pacific was the theme. The Declaration outlines a range of actions that Pacific island governments, partner countries and organisations have committed to implement to protect our Pacific biodiversity.
In 2012 Tokelau became the first in the world to produce all its electricity from renewable energy. With an estimated population of 1,400 spread across three atolls, Tokelau is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. A strong and healthy environment will contribute greatly towards the resilience of Tokelau
“Tokelau wishes to join this High Level Ministerial collective response in giving full support and endorsement of the Vemööre Declaration that raises our individual as well as collective concerns about the poor status of biodiversity in the region,” the Tokelau Director of Environment, Mr Mika Perez said at the High-level Segment during the 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas.
“We are already in a state of biodiversity chaos in the region. However, we must that address these issues in a holistic way to include the international community in order to succeed.”
The Vemööre Declaration calls upon worldwide cooperation to address the global drivers of environmental change which affect the Pacific so profoundly. It strongly affirms the unique opportunity presented by the negotiations of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
In 2010 over 190 Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity committed to achieving 20 Biodiversity Targets, known as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, over the course of 10 years by 2020. These were to be revisited at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the CBD which has been postponed to 2021. Work now continues with Parties to negotiate a new post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to set renewed biodiversity targets.
For Tokelau, world leaders in environmental sustainability despite being the smallest economy in the world, the actions of the global community are crucial for saving our Pacific islands.
“I applaud the effort of the Vemoore Declaration for taking our concerns to the next levels where the problems emanate and had been manifested with very little action taken for far too long,” said Mr Perez.
To read your copy of the Vemööre Declaration: Commitments to nature conservation action in the Pacific Islands region, 2021-2025 please visit:
The High-level segment of the 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas was held on 26 November, 2020.
The conference is organised every five to six years by the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT) and SPREP. The 10th Conference is hosted by the Government of New Caledonia.
The conference was originally scheduled to be held as a face-to-face event in Noumea, New Caledonia, from 19 – 24 April 2020. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in the closure of borders for most countries in the Pacific, it has had to be postponed and changed to a virtual meeting.
The conference was held from 24 – 27 November, with more than 150 speakers expected to present on various topics pertaining to the themes of “Our Ocean”, “Our Island”, and “Our Connection with Nature.” There were over 1700 registered participants of the conference.
For more information please visit the conference website at www.pacificnatureconference.com.