Tag Archives: Kiribati President Anote Tong

EU announces $23 million Euro for Kiribati

Kiribati President, Anote Tong and EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica.  Photo credit: EU-Audio Visual Services.

Kiribati President, Anote Tong and EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica. Photo credit: EU-Audio Visual Services.

A $ 23 million Euro commitment was just signed between the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica and President of Kiribati, His Excellency Anote Tong in Brussels.

The funding will help to improve economic opportunities and livelihoods in Kiribati by developing Kiritimati, thereby also helping to alleviate growing climate change threats affecting the main island Tarawa as well as poverty. It includes supportive measures such as enhancing administrative capacities and boosting civil society organizations.

Announcing the support, Commissioner Mimica said, “Despite the geographical distance between the EU and Kiribati, I’d like to underline the EU’s ongoing commitment and support to being a firm partner to the country, as well as the Pacific region as a whole: particularly in its fight against climate change.”


Kiribati is faced with sea level rise impacts now

Tebunginako villagers stand in the sea where their village used to be. They had to relocate their village because of rising sea levels, erosion and saltwater inundation. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Tebunginako villagers stand in the sea where their village used to be. They had to relocate their village because of rising sea levels, erosion and saltwater inundation. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

The leader of the small Pacific island nation of Kiribati, which is threatened by rising oceans, appealed for greater international efforts to come up with solutions as people in some low-lying areas of the world are forced to relocate. The Desert Sun, reports.

Kiribati’s president, Anote Tong, spoke after a three-day retreat at the Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage, which was led by Prince Albert II of Monaco and focused on the problems of sea level rise and the growing acidity of the world’s oceans.

Tong pointed out that based on scientific predictions of sea level rise, the coral atolls that make up his homeland will be underwater within a century.

“We have nowhere else to go,” Tong said in an interview after the retreat. “We already have communities which have had to relocate because what was their home was no longer there. And so we are feeling impacts now already.”

Tong’s government recently bought land in Fiji, and has been considering a variety of potential ways for the country of about 100,000 people to adapt. Some people have already moved to New Zealand, expecting growing problems with flooding and water supplies in the coming years.

Read the full story on The Desert Sun

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Pacific countries already feeling the effects of climate change

Local IKiribati children face an uncertain future as their islands' capacity to support the population diminishes. Photo: Finn Frandsen, Politiken

Local IKiribati children face an uncertain future as their islands’ capacity to support the population diminishes. Photo: Finn Frandsen, Politiken

If reactions from the recent UN Climate Change summit are anything to go by, the world is progressing to having concrete climate change legislation by the next climate summit in Paris in 2015, says Kiribati President Anote Tong. Fiji Times, reports.

But he acknowledges this is not enough because Pacific countries are already feeling the effects of climate change and must make themselves as resilient as possible.

He said he saw a radical change in position at the UN Climate Change Summit in New York last week.

“The recent meeting was very satisfying because there has been a radical change in the positions of many countries, particularly the US, and they are coming on very strong and with the US taking that position, it is very possible that the rest will follow, perhaps even China,” President Tong said at a press conference in Suva on Wednesday. “But that is not enough.”

He said affected atoll island nations all supported the push for legislation on climate change but also needed to begin their own fight.

Read the full story on Fiji Times
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Kiribati’s President launches first Joint Implementation Plan for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management

KI_KJIP_Launch_President_3_HSabass_GIZ_2014SPC – Press release 01 September 2014

His Excellency Anote Tong, the President of Kiribati, has launched the Kiribati Joint Implementation Plan for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management (KJIP) on 29 August 2014 in Tarawa, together with the Population Policy and Implementation Plan; he said: “These policies are key government priorities touching the life of the people where it matters most. The formulation of these policies was as sensitive as possible, involving all partners and communities. They represent powerful tools to coordinate and jointly monitor the implementation. I have deep appreciation to all who contributed to this plans – especially the communities and partners. The ownership of these documents must be with our people. The plans are a milestone in our national planning and coordination process.”

As a national symbol of discipline and strength the Commonwealth Games gold medal winner in weight lifting, Mr David Katoatau, was honoured by His Excellency.

The development of the KJIP was initiated and coordinated by the Office of Te Beretitenti (the President) and driven by the Kiribati National Expert Group through a participatory process involving all government agencies, non-governmental organisations, the private sector, faith-based organisations and the community.

The plan will help to mobilise tangible, on-the-ground actions for resilient development within the context of two existing national policy frameworks – the National Disaster Risk Management Plan and the National Framework for Climate Change and Climate Change Adaptation. The KJIP is also aligned to achieving the development goals of the Kiribati Development Plan 2012–2015.

Kiribati has been very active in responding to the impacts of climate change and disasters at all levels. The added value this KJIP brings is in: (i) ensuring that climate variability, climate change and disaster risks (related to meteorological, geological or environmental risks) are incorporated in all development planning processes; and (ii) ensuring that tangible, on-the-ground actions are identified for all sectors in order to reduce risks.

KJIP’s vision is: I-Kiribati unique culture, heritage and identity are upheld and safeguarded through enhanced resilience and sustainable development and the goal is: To increase resilience through sustainable climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction using a whole-of-country approach. 37

The KJIP will be implemented through 12 strategies towards clearly defined results. Performance indicators and prioritised actions are outlined in the action matrix to ensure that the vision and the goal are achieved. It is estimated that about AUD 104 million is required to implement the plan over the next nine years.  The plan will improve coordination and is expected to minimise ad hoc and piecemeal approaches, as its approach is carefully designed, integrating relevant stakeholders to promote timely and coherent adaptation, risk reduction and response activities on the ground.

The development of KJIP was supported by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the SPC/Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region (CCCPIR) programme on behalf of the Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations Children’s Fund. The KNEG received additional technical assistance from Australia’s aid programme; the European Union (EU) Global Climate Change Alliance; the EU African, Carribean and Pacific Natural Disaster Facility; and the United States Agency for International Development.

You can access the KJIP here.

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Climate Change and Ocean Resource management key factor in Kiribati’s support towards Palau Declaration


Islands of Abaiang. Much of the archipelago is not more than a few meters above sea level. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Islands of Abaiang. Much of the archipelago is not more than a few meters above sea level. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Press release 29 July 2014

Kiribati recognized and supported the draft Palau Declaration advocating and securing Oceans as a standalone goal under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the global post 2015 development agenda. Kiribati underscores that this complements and strengths the Pacific push to also have Climate Change as a stand alone goal under the SDG. It is very appropriate given that the Pacific Island nations are custodians of one of the world’s greatest natural endowment, the Pacific Ocean, as well as recognizing the urgent vulnerabilities of member states in the face of climate change.

In supporting the Palau Declaration, President Anote Tong underscores the importance and value of the Oceans to the livelihood, the economy and culture of the Pacific nations. Furthermore, through its responsible and proper stewardship, the Pacific Ocean will remain the livelihood of not only future Pacific generations but the future of the whole of mankind.

In this context, President Anote Tong stressed the need to protect and strengthen jurisdictional boundaries and governance, with greater focus on improved monitoring and regulation on illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) fisheries and in the longer term a push to maintain sovereignty over our maritime boundaries in the event that our islands disappear. President Tong also stressed and supported the need to improve Pacific fisheries so as to maximize returns to the people of the Pacific as resource owners through greater participation in the industry particularly through onshore processing and value addition. Sustainable management of the Pacific Ocean is key, with President Tong’s leadership in the preservation of oceans acknowledged in addition to the recognition that there needs to be some compensation for the opportunity cost of conservation measures being implemented by Pacific nations.

SIS leaders committed to further pursue the case for oceans and climate change in the upcoming SIDS conference, in Samoa this September.

Kiribati, Tuvalu and Marshall Islands push for immediate and urgent action

HE  FL introduction at 45 PIF Opening at Palau Capital

HE FL introduction at 45 PIF Opening at Palau Capital

Press release 29 July 2014

Kiribati’s Head of State, HE President Anote Tong and colleagues leaders from Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands have called on the SIS meeting in Palau to consider the seriousness of climate change and especially call for immediate and urgent action now.

“Mr. Chairman, we’ll be guided by your judgment, but I wish to propose to insert in this climate change agenda of SIS, the outcomes of the recent Coalition of Atoll Nations on Climate Change held in my country and with support from our friends Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands,” President Tong said.

The CANCC outcomes in Tarawa expressed grave concerns that global action on climate change is far too slow and urge that global momentum must match the rate at which these impacts are being felt on the ground by their people.

President Tong says early this year Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu experienced a disastrous high tide that swamped their shores and further inland threatening the lives of their people, and as frontline states they have a responsibility to tell these compelling stories and to catalyze global action for their people and for those next to be on the frontline.

The one-day SIS summit ends with leaders emphasizing the need to make a resounding call for urgent action on climate change, to be reiterated at the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), as well as the Climate Change conferences in Lima, Peru 2014 and Paris, France in 2015.

The leaders also acknowledged the range of action, assistance and collaborative efforts of CROP, bilateral and multilateral partners in progressing climate change solutions in support of Small Island States (SIS), although felt more strategic recommendations were needed if targeted direction and accelerated responses to climate change for SIS countries.

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Obama welcomes Kiribati diplomat

Kiribati familyBairiki, Tarawa – 27 May 2014

The President of the United States of America, His Excellency Barack Obama welcomed Kiribati’s Ambassador to the United States – Her Excellency Makurita Baaro, at the White House Oval Office in a Presentation of Credential ceremony last week.

During the ceremony, Ambassador Baaro conveyed the warm greetings of President Anote Tong, the Government and people of Kiribati to President Obama and his family and through him to the Government and people of the United States.

Ambassador Baaro highlighted the importance that Kiribati accords to its historic ties and relationship with the Government and people of the United States and her commitment and that of her country to work on strengthening these diplomatic and people to people ties during her tenure as Kiribati Ambassador to the United States.

Ambassador Baaro also highlighted during the credentials ceremony the challenges facing her people from climate change and the need for global action to address the plight of frontline states like Kiribati who are now experiencing these challenges from rise in sea levels, coastal erosion, ocean acidification and the growing brackishness of ground water sources.

“We are doing what we can at the national level to address these challenges but Kiribati just cannot do it alone,” She added.

Ambassador Baaro emphasized that “This is one challenge that is larger than any of us and one that requires collective global action. We look to the global leadership of the United States of America to assist frontline states like Kiribati to mobilise and gain the much needed traction for global action to address the climate calamity that is not only affecting us. It is affecting us now but will eventually affect the whole global community.”

In extending a warm welcome to Ambassador Baaro, President Obama said that “your presence in the United States is very timely because of the compelling and sobering story Kiribati has to share with the world regarding the threat climate change poses to your people. As Ambassador to United States and Permanent Representative to the UN, I encourage you to be a strong advocate for an ambitious global response to climate change.”

President Obama added that “The United States stands with you in this mission, both for the sake of your people’s posterity and ours”

Ambassador Makurita Baaro is the first resident Kiribati Ambassador accredited to the United States of America.

The very first Kiribati Roving Ambassador to the United States was His Excellency Atanraoi Baiteke who was also the first Secretary for Foreign Affairs for Kiribati after the country gained independence in 1979.

Kiribati and the United States enjoy a close relationship since establishing diplomatic relations in 1980. The two countries work closely together on a broad range of issues, from strengthening regional security, to promoting sustainable development and addressing climate change, to protecting fisheries and the environment.

Kiribati buys a piece of Fiji


Piece of the land in Fiji

OB – Press Release

Kiribati’s Head of State – President Anote Tong made the announcement last week confirming that government has made the final payment for the purchase of the AUD$9.3 million Natoavatu Estate located in Fiji’s second biggest island of Vanua Levu.

“I wish to officially announce that government has come to a final resolve and has made the full purchase of the piece of land in Fiji.” President Tong said in his address to the nation on national radio last Friday.

Tong added that government sent a team earlier this month, comprising of the Minister of Environment, Lands and Agriculture Development and the Attorney General, to settle the purchase of the land with the Fiji authorities.

The team were assured the Certificate of Title for the Natoavatu Estate after all requirements were met and a transaction of the final payment of AUD$8.3 million was witnessed before the previous land owners – The Trustees for the Colony of Fiji of the Church of England and the Fiji authorities.

Tong said that the acquisition of the 5460-acre piece of land marks a new milestone in government’s development plans particularly in its endeavor to address its economic and food security issues as it is greatly impacted by climate change.

“I’m glad we’ve taken this milestone with Fiji and hope that developed countries can engage with frontline countries like us in this arena, as a matter of taking simple actions rather than negotiating climate change issues where common ground is far from reach.” President Tong added.

Earlier this year, President of the Republic of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau met with his Kiribati counterpart on Kiribati shores where he assured “that the people of Kiribati will have a home if their country is submerged by the rising sea level as a result of climate change.

The Fiji President made the announcement confirming the suggestion made earlier by Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, that Fiji would assist Kiribati in any way it could.

The land purchase of the Natoavatu Estate is an investment by the government to explore options of commercial, industrial and agricultural undertakings such as fish canning, beef/poultry farming, fruit/vegetable farming to name but a few.

Forum Trade Ministers Meeting comes to an End

The Pacific Islands Forum embraces a vision for a better future and prosperity for Pacific Islands’ communities through increased trade and investment. As the international trade and investment promotion agency of the Forum Secretariat, Pacific Islands Trade & Invest’s network of offices play an essential role in supporting this vision.

This story began on Wednesday 28 May 2014 when 16 members of this Forum gathered at the Kiribati House of Parliament in Ambo, Tarawa, and the Republic of Kiribati to reach a special agreement. It is special because it recognizes the relative state of development in the Pacific in terms of Technology, Capacity, Wealth, and Resources. I’d say it’s special indeed! And thank you to the Secretary General, Mr Tuiloma Neroni Slade, all the Ministers who were present, the people who assisted these Ministers. Thank you all on behalf of us, the grass roots people, for recognizing Kiribati and accepting our Minister of Commerce’s invitation Mr Binto Katia from Makin to have and to hold the Forum Trade Ministers Meeting here at yet another beautiful island in the pacific.

If you would like to learn more about the Trade Ministers Meeting please visit the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat website and I bet they have a Facebook page as well to keep you engaged.

Also visit our Facebook page Kiribati and Climate Change and like it, and also share it with others so they can see the pictures!

Fiji will not turn its back on Kiribati

Kirarenti Muller and wife Totibure on their sea wall protecting their home back right of pic in the village of Temwaiku on the island of Tarawa. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Kirarenti Muller and wife Totibure on their sea wall protecting their home back right of pic in the village of Temwaiku on the island of Tarawa. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Kiribati’s President Anote Tong  has welcomed assurance from Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama that Fiji will not turn its back on Kiribati in its hour of need, Island Business, reports.

President Tong welcomed the remarks made by Prime Minister Bainimarama during the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Conservation and Protected Areas held in Suva last week where he said that “if the sea level continues to rise because the world won’t tackle global warming, some or all of the people of Kiribati may have to come to live in Fiji.”

The Kiribati leader said this is the kind of moral response we need especially from a neighbouring country within the Pacific.

“We realize that comments made by the Fijian Prime Minister are not easy… but for us the situation we find ourselves in is even more difficult,” President Tong said at the margins of the Parliament session now underway in the capital, Tarawa.

“I have often said that this is the moral challenge because it calls on answers which are unprecedented – never written and never heard of, so this calls for out-of-the-box solutions.” Tong added.

Read the full story on Islands Business

Also read, government land purchase within grasp
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