Pacific Island Leaders Call for Support to Address Climate Change and Marine Protection

18 May 2012: The Special Body on Pacific Island Developing Countries brought together Pacific island leaders who appealed to the world to help them deal with the impact of climate change and to protect their marine environment to ensure their well-being and survival. The Special Body aimed to review the subregion's position ahead of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

The Special Body on Pacific Island Developing Countries convened on 17 May 2012, in Bangkok, Thailand, as part of the 68th session of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), convening from 17-23 May 2012, at the UN Conference Center in Bangkok.

During the meeting, Kiribati highlighted that it has established the largest marine protected area in the Pacific – the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, and that Tuvalu has made significant commitments to renewable energy, aiming for 100% renewable energy by 2020.

The Special Body meeting was a follow up meeting to the July 2011 Rio+20 Pacific preparatory meeting, which had agreed that Rio+20 must highlight the special case of small island developing States (SIDS), and recognize the need for a stronger international commitment to sustainable management and development of the Pacific Ocean. It also agreed that addressing climate change is fundamental to sustainable the survival of Pacific SIDS, and critical to the future of the planet. [ESCAP Press Release]