Brussels, 24 october 2012/ CTA/ACP: Climate change is already disproportionally affecting the islands of the Pacific. Although islanders have done little to contribute to the causes of climate change – less than 0.03% of current global greenhouse gas emissions – they are among the first to be exposed to a range of environmental, social and economic effects.

Most islands are experiencing impacts on community livelihoods, infrastructure, water supply, coastal and forest ecosystems, fisheries, agriculture, and human health. The consequences of sea level rise, sea temperature increases, ocean acidification, alt ered rainfall patterns, and overall temperature rise will be increasingly felt.
In this context, policy-makers, researchers, civil society groups, and development partners will gather in Port Vila, Vanuatu next week (31 October – 2 November 2012) to address these issues in a special briefing session organized by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development (CTA), in partnership with the Government of Vanuatu, with the support of the Embassy of Vanuatu to the EU and the ACP, and Pacific Group of Ambassadors.
More than 60 regional and international organisations are expected to join the talks, aiming to help lay the ground for an enhanced regional cooperation policy that highlights shared responses and common strategies to climate change.
Expert panelists will speak on climate change vulnerabilities, mitigation and adaptation, as well as aspects of green growth. Mitigation includes efforts to reduce the buildup of greenhouse gas and other climate-modifying constituents. Adaptation schemes enable communities, now or in the future, to cope with changes caused by global warming, such as the costs accrued. Green growth involves economic progress that fosters environmentally sustainable, low-carbon and socially inclusive development – activities such as renewable energy, low carbon transport, energy- and water-efficient buildings, and sustainable agriculture and fisheries.
Climate change funding and strategies for international negotiations will also be on the agenda. Speakers come from a range of backgrounds, including UNESCO, SPREP, Oxfam, and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
“These are, without a doubt, serious matters for the Pacific region, not only in dealing with challenges we see today, but also in terms of ensuring the survival and livelihood of future generations. The Briefing is an opportunity to share adaptive responses in Pacific countries and lessons learnt. The Pacific countries will have to identify and develop particular areas of opportunity and comparative advantage,” said Mr Michael Hailu, Director of CTA.
The Briefing will feed into the 1st ACP Council of Ministers on Climate Change to be held in Brussels from 7 to 9 November 2012. It will also contribute to the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, and the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol taking place 26 November to 7 December 2012 at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar.
The Head of the Vanuatu Embassy to the EU and the ACP Group of States who is a key factor behind the launching of this important project in Vanuatu H E Mr Roy Mickey Joy said:
"The Pacific ACP region is the mostly affected region as far as climate change, sea level rise and other disturbing natural disasters and phenomenon are concern, therefore the convening of this special briefing for the Pacific ACP region is a stepping stone in preparing the regions position and interests to be vetted into the ACP Ministers of Climate Change Meeting to take place in Brussels in November as well as a specific Pacific position to be presented to the UNFCCC COP 18 process when it meets in Doha, State iof Qatar come this December its annual global and multi lateral talks."
Ambassador Joy on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu is grateful to the ACP- EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development CTA for their commitment and support to hosting this Regional Briefing in Vanuatu.
For further information, please contact Ms Isolina Boto ( or visit the Regional Policy Briefings blog ( and
For media enquiries, contact Josephine Latu ( or +32 27439617.
(Photos from top: In Vanuatu, villagers from Tegua village had tobe relocated to Lirak due to king tides and aggressive seas/ Island Business; Vanuatu Ambassador to the EU H.E Roy Mickey Joy [second from left] and Pacific delegates at the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Session in Horsens earlier this year)