PACIFIC ISLAND MINISTERS

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SOUTH PACIFIC REGIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME (SPREP) Apia, Samoa

 

PRESS RELEASE June 20, 2001

STATE CLIMATE CHANGE POSITION

Fourteen Pacific Island countries have issued a joint statement following a regional ministerial meeting on climate change in Fiji recently.

The statement is in response to rising concerns over the "adverse impact of climate change, climate variability and sea level rise on all Pacific Islands, especially low lying atolls."

Those concerns have been backed up by the findings of the International Panel on Climate Change, a pre-eminent group of 400 scientists, whose research has confirmed that human interference has led to a series of negative impacts on climate patterns over the past 50 years.

Representatives stated their "disappointment at the decision by the United States to reject the Kyoto Protocol" while encouraging those who have not ratified to do so.

Talks on the Protocol, that sets limits on the volume of green house gas emissions allowed by each developed nation, resumes next month in Germany.

The meeting also endorsed the development of a long-term programmatic approach to building capacity in Pacific island countries, and has asked for the support of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme to help obtain assistance from the Global Environment Facility, the United Nations system, and international financial institutions to initiate the approach.

The parties who are signatories to the ministerial statement are the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

For more information, contact Fatu Tauafiafi fatut@sprep.org.ws or Chris Peteru@sprep.org.ws

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