Tag Archives: UNFCCC

Side event in Lima, Peru

Kiribati holds successful joint-side event with Taiwan at the margins of UNFCCC meeting in Lima, Peru

Side event in Lima, Peru

Side event in Lima, Peru

Press release – San Borja (Lima Peru) 8 December 2014

Ambassador Makurita Baaro took the audience into a journey of reality, beginning with the show casing of a local climate change song and video clip by the Kiribati Climate Change Children’s Network, where the children of Kiribati plea to world leaders for climate justice.

She then told participants that while the islands will not disappear in the next decade or so, climate change has already taken a toll on the islands with coastal erosion, constant sea intrusion affecting water lens and water supplies, Government expenses on the rise to protect public infrastructure, and agricultural activities difficult from the onslaught of sea level rise coupled with poor in-fertile soil.

Our Government has taken every effort to adapt to these new realities, Ambassador Baaro says, now it is has launched a comprehensive joint implementation plan on climate change and disaster called the KJIP and is taking a whole of nation approach to tackle the problem as well as preparing for the worst case scenario in the future.

She adds the four-month old grouping of the most vulnerable countries called the coalition of low lying atoll nations on climate change – CANCC – is another undertaking by Government to leverage advocate and tell the story of the plight of peoples in small low lying countries like, Tuvalu, Maldives, Tokelau, Marshall Islands and Kiribati. Uniting to join forces to focus global attention on the plight of their people, these atoll nations are barely three meters above sea-water level.  The CANCC inaugural meeting was held in Tarawa, Kiribati in July this year and is an open coalition inclusive of potential atoll islands including country and development partners genuinely interested in supporting their cause.

“It is no longer about who is to blame and what caused it?” she said. It is a common problem affecting us all and affecting our children and theirs. It is about working together, all of us within our capabilities, working together as good global citizens to address a major challenge to our one and only home…our Planet Earth”

‘We are the early warning system for the world, what’s going to happen to us will also happen to millions of people living in major coastal cities around the world, acting now is the only possible and most appropriate cause of action,’ she said.

Ambassador Baaro also took a time to acknowledge the continued partnership the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has done to Kiribati in many different areas that have had impact on Kiribati’s effort to tackle climate change.

The Kiribati-ITRI join side event was also attended by a Parliamentary delegation from Taipei, Taiwan.

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Her Execellency  Makurita Baaro delivers her speech in Lima, Peru

Coalition of Low Lying Atoll Nations on Climate Change meets at sidelines of UNFCCC meeting in Lima, Peru

Her Execellency  Makurita Baaro delivers her speech in Lima, Peru

Her Execellency Makurita Baaro delivers her speech in Lima, Peru

Press release – San Borja (Lima-Peru) 7 December 2014

Born out from an inaugural Leaders’ meeting in Kiribati’s capital Tarawa in July 2014 hosted by Beretitenti Tong, Kiribati’s Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, HE Makurita Baaro says this is the first Ministerial and Ambassadorial level meet of the coalition members, following the most recent CANCC leaders meeting held in Apia, Samoa at the sidelines of the Third UN Conference of SIDS in September.

“The leaders agreed in Apia that officials from the five countries’ capitals (Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Tokelau) shall progress three major goals of the young coalition, and that is, the setting up of a climate alert fund for the coalition, consider options for the institutionalization of the coalition and to agree on milestone events for 2015,” Ambassador Baaro said.

The meeting not only provided the opportunity for members of the coalition to discuss and progress these directives from Leaders but was also seen by the meeting as a welcomed opportunity to strengthen CANCC, still very much in its infancy requiring collective and constant nurturing from all members.

While the coalition is very much in its infancy the meeting further reiterated their countries commitment to see this coalition through based on the very real fact the member countries have so much to gain by working together being at the frontline of the most vulnerable in the face of climate change, for the benefit of their respective citizens.

In considering the decision by CANCC Leaders in Apia to look into the establishment of a Climate Alert Fund for the coalition, the meeting agreed to pool their capacity as one in developing the concept of the  fund given the experience each country has in managing their own individual trust funds. It was also important to consider this in the context of new developments happening on climate financing. Officials agreed to first discuss the establishment of the CAF with relevant national stakeholders including financial experts in their capitals. The subject will then be further discussed in February 2015 at the wings of the ADP Session in Geneva.

The meeting agreed that it was important to ensure that the CAF adds value to all the members by way of acting as a catalyst to improve access to new climate funding including the new Green Climate Fund and other climate funding facilities.

The meeting agreed that as frontline nations to climate change, it is important to take the lead in the Ratification of the Doha Amendments as a way of showing its commitment to the COP process and advocate expediting its ratification in other groups.

The meeting also highlighted the critical importance of the coming year in the lead up to COP 21 in France and the finalization of the post 2015 Development Agenda and agreed that CANCC member countries should take every opportunity to meet at the margins of all key UN high-level events that are related to climate change and sustainable development.

The Meeting was attended by the Foreign Minister of Tuvalu, Honourable Taukelina Finikaso, the Kiribati and Maldives Ambassadors to the United Nations, Senior officials from the Marshall Islands as well as officials from Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Maldives.

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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!

Mr Riibeta Abeta

I-Kiribati first international publication on climate change

Riibeta Abeta

Riibeta Abeta

Meet Mr Riibeta Abeta
Kiribati has not only for years been at center stage of the 21st century’s hottest topic of climate change, but the new year 2014 has ushered in the newest chapter of climate change for Kiribati, the first I-Kiribati single author on climate change.

In a typical Kiribati way of life, the young and newest author Mr. Riibeta Abeta expects no glints or glamour or even an entourage of the media to greet his first ever academic publication titled ‘Climate Change Adaptation and Coastal Zone of Kiribati’ published by the German based Lambert Publishing Company.

Speaking to TMN when asked what was his biggest motivation behind  his work? Mr. Abeta has this to say.

His motivation
‘I think forging our home island of Kiribati forward through today’s challenges, particularly in the future bleak scenarios brought in by climate change has been my biggest motivation to complete this book’

Although this is his first academic master-piece on climate change, Abeta is no stranger to the different dimensions of climate change that is impacting his beloved Kiribati, because he still lives with it and has argued for it at international foras when he worked as climate change officer with the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development in Tarawa as a Kiribati civil servant.

Future hopes
‘Amid the global campaigns about the uncertain future of Kiribati due to climate change, my worries always goes to our children, and therefore it points me to the fact that our young generation of Kiribati today must fully understand the full spectrum of their choices for their future lives; and we all know that this can be realized by more focused research on this hot topic, among other things.’

Mr Abeta’s background
Abeta has been on the Kiribati negotiation teams to the many UN Climate Change meetings since he joined the Ministry of Environment more than a decade ago, it is during his service with the Government of Kiribati that he got the Australian Leadership Award Scholarship to do his masters on climate change at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane.

‘This book in summary is about our capital island, South Tarawa, Kiribati; and a detail explanation on where it safe boundaries are with respect to the climate change threats.  The book also argued that the range of barriers and limits to climate change adaptation need to be considered into today’s developmental planning.  The time and resources spent to do the research was made possible through the Australian Leadership Award Scholarship and the University of the Sunshine Coast in Brisbane Australia when I did the Masters of Climate Change academic program in 2009 -2010.’

Cover page of Riibeta Abeta's book

Cover page of Riibeta Abeta’s book

The new author has found new strength and new heights in his first publication and has shared his thoughts and experience on how to get your work published in his facebook page and emails to his friends and colleagues in Kiribati.

Lambert Publishing Company
‘The Lambert Publishing Company (https://www.lap-publishing.com/site/home/10) based in Germany came across my work and expressed their interest to publish it globally (https://www.morebooks.de/), which has now brought this work about Kiribati to this level,’ he said.

‘This has not only demonstrated the potential of us I-Kiribati as trusted authors of books, but more importantly showcasing Kiribati’s stories, information, facts, problems and critical issues requiring support, at the international front.’

Defining our paths
According to Abeta, I-Kiribati are better suited to define their paths in terms of climate change.

Beyond climate change, the new author and father of two children has somewhat a more human touch and nationalistic feeling towards his new publication.

Hopes for a smarter and resilient Kiribati society
‘I felt, this publication of mine is entirely dedicated to the young and growing generations of Kiribati to be very informed by engaging in more innovative researches, adaptive to emerging threats, willingness to collaborate with each other to achieve a common goal for Kiribati, and remain true I-Kiribati. This publication hopes for a ‘smarter and resilient Kiribati society in the future.’

‘The “young generations” of Kiribati can achieve more than this, and I would like to encourage them to do their best for themselves, and for their future beloved home Kiribati. It is also with an earnest hope that this small achievement, signals an important message to all I-Kiribati citizens to help shape a ‘Smarter and Resilient Kiribati.’

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HM Tiarite_G_Kwong

Kiribati’s speech during UNFCCC COP19

Republic of KiribatiHM Tiarite_G_Kwong
Statement by: Honorable Minister Mr. Tiarite George Kwong
Minister of Environment, Lands and Agriculture Development
of the Republic of Kiribati

High Level Segment
UNFCCC COP 19th Metting

Warsaw, Poland
19 – 21 November 2013

Mr. President,
Excellencies,
UNFCCC Executive Secretary,
Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen

I bring to you all very warm greetings from the people of Kiribati, young and old, the Government and my President, His Excellency Anote Tong on whose behalf I am privileged to address this august body. In Kiribati we start all addresses by conferring blessings of peace and security on all those present so I would like to begin by saying to you all: KAM NA BANE NI MAURI.

Mr President,
I wish to take this opportunity to express my delegation.s and my own, deep appreciation to our gracious hosts, the Government and people of Poland for the warm hospitality we all have been accorded since our arrival in your beautiful country and for the meticulous arrangements to ensure the successful conduct of our meeting here in Warsaw.

Mr President,
I also wish to echo the sentiments conveyed by previous speakers in congratulating you Mr President on assuming the Presidency of this 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC. I am confident that under your able stewardship, our work towards improving the security and quality of life for all members of our global community, in particular those who are the most vulnerable to climate change will move to new levels of international political commitment and support in an inclusive and transparent manner Kiribati fully supports you in this important task.

Mr. President,
I also want to commend the untiring commitment and work of our Secretary-General, His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon on the issue of climate change and the plight of the most vulnerable. those living on the front line of the climate challenge which includes my own country. The people of my country and of our region reiterate our deep gratitude for the Secretary General.s personal commitment in this regard. Under the UN SG leadership, Kiribati also expects the upcoming World Leaders Summit and the Global Conference on SIDS to inform the work of the ADP process with a guarantee of a new, ambitious and legally binding climate change protocol by 2015 that is centered on saving the most vulnerable countries like Kiribati and our global planet.

Mr President,
The challenges facing us as we gather again for this 19th session of COP here in Warsaw are even greater and urgent than when we met a year ago. Security challenges posed by climate change continue to undermine our efforts, the global family of nations to achieve sustainable development.our efforts as a global community to work towards peace and security. For some of us, it is a plea for basic survival. As such, I also wished to support and align my statement with those made by Fiji on behalf of the G77 and China, Nepal on behalf of Least Developed Countries and Nauru on behalf of Alliance of Small Island Developing States.

Mr President,
The tragic event facing the people of the Philippines following super typhoon Haiyan. clearly demonstrate the magnitude of the calamity facing us as we meet in Warsaw. We join previous speakers in conveying to the people and Government of the Philippines, and to those who lost loved ones, that we in Kiribati join you in prayer during these extremely sad and difficult times.

Mr. President,
What is happening in the Philippines is the reality of climate change. This reminds us of the important work we urgently need and must do now. We gather here in Warsaw, small island developing states, developing and developed states, small, medium sized and big countries because we have a common purpose. and a shared responsibility for our planet. to work together to address and find global concrete solution for the greatest challenge facing us with climate change.

Mr President,
Kiribati has and will again highlight that this is a critical issue for the survival of our people and indeed for all of humanity. Scientists tell us that calamity awaits and not just for those of us on low-lying islands. What we are experiencing now on these low-lying atolls is an early warning of what will happen further down the line for everyone. No one will be spared. We cannot continue to abuse our planet in this way. For the future we want for our children and grandchildren, we need leadership. We need collective action. We need commitment. We need Goodwill NOW at COP19.

Mr President,
My delegation was very much touched by the opening session program showcasing the situation and the dream of our children living in the other Poland, a village in Kiribati. This means a lot to us, it demonstrates a message of hope that under your presidency and chairmanship – the focus of COP 19 is to have a better and safer future for our children that is inclusive and transparent. not only in Kiribati and Poland and around the world.

Mr President,
While we welcome the progress achieved so far under the UNFCCC process it still is NOT ENOUGH to ensure the survival of our people and our planet. The recent release of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report (AR5) reaffirms what we already know and what we are already experiencing on the ground. It reconfirms the need to ask even harder questions for us in Kiribati – what lies beyond adaptation? What can be done if we can no longer adapt to climate change?

How can we continue to adapt, when our survival is at stake??

Mr President,
Kiribati calls for equal importance to be given to both mitigation and adaptation measures through balanced resource allocation. The delivery of international adaptation finance and resources are taking much too long. The Green Climate Fund needs to be operationalized and resourced as SOON as possible so it can start its operations by the end of 2014. Kiribati calls for improved access in particular for SIDS and LDCs, especially through direct access. We also call on our partners from developed countries to announce and pledge scaled-up climate finance for the years to come as part of the outcomes here in Warsaw, including also the need to increase the level of mitigation commitments and ambitions.

Mr. President,
Kiribati is very concerned with the current lack of ambition to reduce greenhouse gases. The inadequate support for adaptation for SIDS means increased vulnerabilities, high exposure to external shocks and increasing adverse effects of climate change. The establishment of an international mechanism on Loss and Damage is crucial and must be in place now here in this meeting as we have decided in Doha. For countries like Kiribati, loss and damage can no longer be avoided through mitigation nor can be avoided through adaptation. In this regard, loss and damage must be treated with the urgency it demands.

Mr. President,
Time is running out for us. Climate change poses the most urgent security challenge for Kiribati. now. We are in the front line of all this. It is already causing severe coastal erosions, involuntary displacement of villages, decrease in food and water security, and more importantly, has become a survival issue. These impacts are putting enormous pressure on domestic institutions, the national budget, the families and the sense of well-being of the people. These will continue to be exacerbated in the foreseeable future.

Mr. President,
We cannot continue to stand on the side-lines and wait for others to deliver. In Kiribati, we are taking charge of our situation and moving forward with our mitigation and adaptation strategies. We are now working directly with our partners on this like Australia, EU and Taiwan to implement our national adaptation priorities.

Mr President,
While we are taking adaptation measures to ensure that Kiribati remains habitable for as long as possible, prudence demands that we prepare for a long term future for our people. Kiribati has taken the position that it would be irresponsible to acknowledge what we are experiencing on the groundand not do anything to prepare our people and communities for eventual migration, in circumstances that permit them to migrate with dignity. We must prepare our people for this eventuality. That said relocation will always be viewed as an option of last resort. So what are we doing Mr President? Let me share a few of the things that we are doing in Kiribati. We are buying land offshore to enhance food security for our people. We are also working on improving the education and the skills of our people to a level where they are able to compete for jobs in the international labour market. We have facilitated overseas employment and permanent emigration opportunities for our people. These are in line with Governments policy on relocation and migration with dignity. We want our people to have the option to MIGRATE WITH DIGNITY, so they can contribute meaningfully to their new homes rather than climate refugees. We are exploring long term survivability and self-reliance options that ensures sustainability of culture, heritage and identity of the Kiribati people. We are looking at the various options available to a disappearing state, the legalities and the precedents.

Mr President,
We can only do so much, WE CANNOT DO IT ALONE. Much more needs to be done. Because of climate change, our future as a nation and as people is uncertain. Like many others here in this room. We present a whole new security challenge. We also bring a whole new meaning to human rights and the right to a secure future? Climate change has raised a new dimension of human rights, the right to clean drinking water, the right to education, the right to survival. It has also brought a new dimension to the definition of the word refugee.

Mr President,
As we meet this time in Warsaw for COP 19, we challenge all delegations to focus on the urgent need to address the urgent security implications of climate change, including violation of territorial integrity, existential threat, more frequent and severe climate-related disasters, threats to water and food security, slow onset events, increased natural resource scarcity, and forced displacement of communities. But above all Mr President, let us focus on the human dimensions of climate change, including, where necessary, initiatives for preparing communities and whole peoples for relocation.

Mr President,
We have every confidence that under your able presidency and the Polish Government’s leadership,  you will craft and steer this UNFCCC process to these new innovative levels that can help set a new PEOPLE oriented course for this crucial multilateral process. When all of us return to our respective homes from Warsaw, to our respective children, and grandchildren we must be able to look them in the eye and tell them with all honesty that we have done all that is within our collective powers to combat the devastating consequences of climate change. I would like to conclude by wishing you all the Kiribati traditional blessings of: TE MAURI, TE RAOI AO TE TABOMOA . meaning, May Health, Peace and Prosperity be with you Mr President as well as on all of us.

I thank you Mr. President.

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