Pacific Islands Forum: Puna arrives to expectations of climate change action in Tuvalu

Monday August 12, 2019 Written by Published in Economy
Henry Puna (3rd from left) in Tuvalu. 19081136 Henry Puna (3rd from left) in Tuvalu. 19081136

Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna was welcomed to Tuvalu by a gathering of children who ushered him into the government’s open fale house.

Puna, who will host the Climate Change Action Pacific Partnership Conference next year, will be a keen speaker at this week’s leaders meeting.

Forum secretary-general Dame Meg Taylor said they are seeking strategies to secure the future of the Pacific Islands.

She asked: “What is the Pacific region going to look like in 30 years or 50 years?”

This follows the Blue Pacific regional agenda to discuss common areas of interest like maritime boundaries, fisheries and climate change to develop sustainable strategies.

Taylor said it was courageous for the small country of Tuvalu to host these meetings. It’s been 35 years since the leader’s meeting was held in Tuvalu and this marks the Pacific Islands Forum’s 50th meeting.

Tuvalu has played a very prominent role in the climate change issue and, being one of the most vulnerable nations, they especially need to sustain their livelihood. “We are here to stay,” said Taylor.

The leaders are now at a crossroads on the impacts of climate change and the Prime Minster of Tuvalu Enele Sopoaga is urging commitments and actions.

“I think we have a big job to do this week,” said Sopoaga. “Are we going to continue talking about ambitions or are we going to make a difference and make actions happen?”

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