Monday 8 July 2013: Nadi, Fiji – The first Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable has been officially opened at the Sofitel Resort and Spa in Nadi, Fiji.
Marking the occasion, the Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon. Samiu Kuita Vaipulu, received a ceremony of traditional welcome from the Government of Fiji. The meeting was officially opened by the Acting Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, Mr. Aiyaz Sayad-Khaiyum. Also present at the opening ceremony were the Hon. Mark Brown, Minister for Finance and Economic Management of the Cook Islands, Hon. Thomas Laken, Minister for Planning & Climate Change Adaptation of the Republic of Vanuatu and Ms. Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction.
With this meeting the Pacific region has achieved a world first by bringing together the two principal regional conferences on disaster risk management and climate change. The joint meeting will contribute to the formulation of an over-arching regional strategy and framework for climate and disaster-resilient development to be considered for endorsement by the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in 2015.
An integrated approach to addressing disaster risk reduction and climate change concerns will mean better use of national and regional capacities and resources to address the risks posed by hazards, whether they are extreme weather events such as cyclones and droughts or ‘slow onset’ events such as rising sea levels or ocean acidification associated with climate change. The strategy will further progress the agenda of enabling the Pacific Islands region to build resilience to our changing climate.