The  New Zealand government announced a commitment of a total  of  $6 million at the Our Ocean Conference in Palau last week.

 Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aupito William Sio, and FFA Director-General, Dr Manumatavai Tupou-Roosen, announced  that the New Zealand government would commit to a US$3.4 million partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA).

He said New Zealand’s financial commitment to the FFA was for four years.

New Zealand also committed US$3 million towards climate change assessment. The funds will go to the University of the South Pacific and the University of Canterbury.

“While we all know climate change poses a dire threat to the Pacific, There are still many knowledge gaps. How will communities be affected? How our communities are already applying innovative adaptation solutions that could also help others, Sio said when the commitments were announced. 

 He said this assessment aims to fill gaps and support Pacific resilience through influential evidence-based decision-making events focusing on ensuring the region’s rich traditional knowledge systems are part of this evidence base. 

Sio has said that  Pacific  faces the reality of the ocean levels rising and islands like Palau are under threat. 

“People who have never been to this part of the world before are seeing for the first time what it’s like to be living and breathing climate change.”

He said 20 per cent of countries in the world emit 80 per cent of global emissions.

 The next Our Ocean conference will be in Panama in 2023.

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