Economic and Finance executives of the Eighteen Pacific Island Countries had participated in the joint dialogue at the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) in Koror, Palau yesterday to discuss Pacific countries’ investment in economic resilience to climate change and natural disasters.
Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor said in her speech yesterday that building climate resilience is now a must in the region.
“We have all experienced the heartache of rebuilding economies and communities devastated by disasters. This, coupled with a rapidly evolving world with an increasingly fluid financing architecture, reaffirms that it is imperative that we identify regional financing solutions that are tailored and embedded to address our unique circumstances in a sustainable and predictable manner,” Taylor said.
Palau’s Finance Minister Elbuchel Sadang, who is also the chairperson of this year’s Forum Economic Ministers Meeting, said in his speech that the meeting will be a significant platform for the participating countries to have frank discussions and explore means to collectively address the challenges faced by the region.
Delegates from other Pacific Island countries also had the chance to visit the Rock Islands during their first day here on April 25.
“I would like to thank Governor Franco Gibbons and the Koror State Government for waiving permit fees for the Forum Delegations as they visited the world famous southern rock island lagoon, a UNESCO world Heritage Site,” Finance Minister Sadang said.
Palau Vice President Raynold Oilouch, who spoke in behalf of President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. who was away for the Micronesian Islands Forum (MIF) in Saipan, also welcomed the delegates of the forum.
“In recent years, our region has witnessed the increasing occurrence and related impacts of natural hazards – a direct result of climate change to our islands. This continues to take its toll on the livelihoods of our people and our island economies, and the onus is on us to build resilient economies that will ensure a future for the generations after us,” Oilouch said.
Two of the key proposals tabled for discussion and decision by the Economic Ministers for the meeting are on a Pacific Resilience Facility and the Pacific Island Countries’ Climate Change Insurance Facility.
These proposals aim to address the need for increased investment in resilience using different policy and financial approaches to retrofit and risk-proof infrastructural assets now and in future.
The three-day event, which is anchored on the theme Building Economic Resilience of Pacific island countries through Sustainable Financing Flows”, will conclude today. (Rhealyn C. Pojas – Reporter/With PR)