The rising global Omicron cases have forced the postponement of Our Ocean Conference in Palau from February to April 13 to 14.
President Surangel Whipps Jr. announced on Tuesday that Palau in consultation with US Presidential Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry announced that the conference has been rescheduled after consultation with public health officials.
Whipps said Our Ocean Conference will remain as an in-person event.
“Special Envoy Kerry and I spoke…we wanted many people to come for a face-to-face meeting, not virtual..due to increasing cases of COVID, many people that want to come are now hesitant. We said that it has been postponed much time but we decided to just put it on hold for only two months.,” Whipps told reporters on Wednesday.
The president said that there’s the high spread of Omicron but predictions from the US partners say that it will go down quickly after this peak.
“ It is very transmittable but it is weak and it is expected to go down and calm down. Hopefully, our friends from the Pacific and others would not be fearful about attending the conference.’ He added.
Whipps said the Our Ocean Conference is still an important event especially in light of the challenges faced by the ocean.
“The Our Ocean Conference will remain an in-person event, and Palau looks forward to hosting this important gathering in April,” President Whipps said in a statement announcing the postponement.
“The challenges facing our ocean and our climate continue, as does the global momentum behind finding solutions that benefit people and nature alike.”
“The seventh Our Ocean Conference will be a major moment for ocean-climate action,” said Secretary Kerry.
“We encourage significant new commitments to protect our ocean, our people, and our planet.”