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Pacific Climate Change Roundtable Stresses Building Resilience through Collaboration

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IISD SIDS Policy and Practice 5 July 2013: The Pacific Climate Change Roundtable (PCCR) brought together over 100 participants and focused on building resilience to climate change through collaboration. The Roundtable was one of a series of Pacific regional meetings for disaster risk management and climate change.

The PCCR, which convened from 3-5 July 2013, in Nadi, Fiji, aimed to strengthen coordination of regional organizations to support regional climate change priorities. Roundtable sessions addressed: increased resilience against climate change impacts and disaster risks; innovative tools for adaptation and mitigation; the “Green and Blue economy” and sustainable development; and climate financing.

According to David Sheppard, Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the PCCR is “the premiere climate change coordination mechanism for the Pacific.” In his closing statement, Sheppard highlighted key points emphasized at the Roundtable, including the need for: good science, while ensuring it builds on and reinforces traditional knowledge, and is available to those that need it most, particularly managers on the ground; balance between adaptation and mitigation, and, within adaptation, between infrastructure and nature-based options; resolving critical 'non-climate change' environmental and associated social issues, such as resource depletion, invasive species, and land and marine management; and a greater awareness of the urgency facing the region regarding climate change and associated impacts, such as sea level rise.

Also highlighted during the meeting was the Pacific Climate Change Portal, an information hub to strengthen understanding of climate change issues that features an events calendar, directory of experts, image library, and the Pacific Climate Change Projects Database, which is still under development.

The PCCR was established to coordinate climate change dialogue and networking in the region, and facilitate linking global and regional stakeholders with national and community levels. It is coordinated by SPREP in partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), among others.

The 2nd meeting of the Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC) convened from 1-5 July. The PMC is a subsidiary body of SPREP, which is coordinated by SPREP and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It plays a critical role in enhancing and developing weather, water and climate services in the Pacific region. The meeting agreed on actions to achieve the goals of the 2012-2021 Pacific Islands Meteorological Strategy, and strengthen coordination between national meteorological services and development partners.

In addition to the PCCR and the PMC, the following meetings convened: the Pacific Regional Water and Sanitation Consultations (1-3 July); 19th Regional Disasters Managers Meeting (1-3 July); and the Strategic Alliance Meeting of Pacific Islands Disaster, Fire and Emergency Services and Police (3-5 July).

This series of events will culminate with the first-ever Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and PCCR meeting from 8-11 July 2013. [Website for Pacific Regional Meetings for Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change] [SPREP Website] [SPC Website] [Pacific Climate Change Portal]