Pacific Islands Development Forum Adopts Suva Declaration on Climate Change
4 September 2015: Leaders of the Pacific Islands Development Forum, emphasizing their "grave distress" over climate change, are calling for increased support for adaptation measures and the creation of a Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) regional task force on climate financing. The leaders called for these and other actions in the 'Suva Declaration on Climate Change,' adopted at the Third Pacific Islands Development Forum Summit of Leaders (PIDF 3).
Hosted in Suva, Fiji, from 2-4 September 2015, PIDF 3 brought together stakeholders from the region for discussions under the theme 'Building Climate Resilient Green Blue Pacific Economies.' The resulting Suva Declaration expresses deep concern over the irreversible loss and damage, human rights violations, suffering and other adverse impacts of climate change affecting islands and their peoples, while highlighting actions countries should take, especially under the UNFCCC, to mitigate climate change and combat its negative effects.
In particular, the Declaration voices support for, inter alia: a goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5⁰C above pre-industrial levels; ratification and implementation of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol; including loss and damage as a standalone element in the anticipated Paris agreement to be adopted at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC; a legally-binding Paris agreement; addressing gender-based inequality and discrimination in action on climate change; and 100% grant-based financing for Pacific SIDS' adaptation measures.
In his closing remarks at PIDF 3, Josaia V. Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, said, "Our disappointment and frustration at the world's failure to act runs through this entire document. We in the Pacific tend to speak softly. It is in our nature. But on this issue, we needed to cry out with one voice, enough is enough. And we have. And it is all the more powerful for that." [Suva Declaration on Climate Change] [Pacific Islands Development Forum Website] [PIDF 3 Webpage]