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Promised climate change funding yet to materialize

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Dec. 7, 2010) - A Pacific environmental advisor says the region has so far seen little funding for climate change adaptation but he’s hopeful it will receive special recognition at the United Nations conference in Mexico.

Espen Ronneberg from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme says fast start financing was promised at the Copenhagen conference but so far little of that has been delivered in the Pacific.

He says a lot of donor countries say they will give priority to funding for small islands because they are the most vulnerable, and the least responsible for climate change.

But he says it’s not a straightforward issue.

"While other developing countries are sympathetic to the plight of the small islands they also want to see special attention given to themselves, and while in some cases there is justification for that, for example the least developed countries and certain countries in Africa, we feel that if there is priority attached to everyone then nobody gets priority attached."

Espen Ronneberg says some resources have been received from traditional partners but it needs to be speeded up.

He says he’s hopeful the arrival of heads of government and ministers from the Pacific will further boost the region’s profile at the talks.

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