Pacific Island government leaders and ministers as well as their metropolitan counterparts attending the 7th Conference of the Pacific Community in New Caledonia this week recognised the importance of ensuring that food and water security can be maintained in the face of climate change now and in coming decades.
Heads of government, ministers and ambassadors from 22 Pacific Island countries and territories and Australia, France, New Zealand and the USA met over two days at the Noumea headquarters of the region's largest development agency, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). The theme of the meeting was 'Climate Change and Food Security - Managing the Risks for Sustainable Development'.
Delegates welcomed the timeliness of the theme, which highlighted the range of projected impacts that climate change poses, particularly to food and water security in the Pacific Islands region.
The Conference emphasised the importance of a paradigm shift in thinking and planning for climate change, that is, not necessarily 'doing different business but rather doing business differently' to determine the level of acceptable risk at all points and prepare to respond effectively.
The Conference agreed that clearly no one organisation can address climate change related challenges in the Pacific region and that partnerships between development organisations such as SPC and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) were key. SPC and SPREP signed an agreement to collaborate closely on climate change issues at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) Leaders Meeting in Auckland in September. More