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Climate mechanism for Pacific: ECOPAS conference

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USPs' Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development Director Professor Elisabeth Holland at the ECOPAS conference at the Laucala campus.

Climate experts at The University of the South Pacific and the region are working towards putting together a mechanism which will allow them to quantify and sell environmental credits.

Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development’s Director Professor Elisabeth Holland said, “We (Pacific) are taking up more carbon and we are emitting less in the atmosphere which could be sold in the market”.

“Creating a stock exchange mechanism will help us keep the money circulating in the region which we could invest to keep carbon dioxide levels low,” she said.

Her comments came during the final day of the 2013 Ecopas Conference held at USPs’ Laucala campus from December 6-9.

Prof Holland said it was important to come up with something which would help build a resilient sustainable future for the Pacific Islands.

Associate Professor at the Division of Marine Studies Joeli Veitayaki asked what can be done to reduce our carbon emissions.

Prof Holland said it was important for the Pacific islanders to continue to do what they were best at. “We navigate seas and we need to find ways which uses less fossil fuel to further reduce our carbon dioxide emissions,” she said.

Meanwhile, Prof Holland, who was also a key figure in getting this conference organized, said it was a huge success.

She said having a conference like this was important because it gave the region a voice at an international level.

“We would like to make this a better and bigger event however funding is an issue.”

During an afternoon panel discussion on the conference theme “Restoring the Human to Climate Change in the Pacific”, Viliame Iese, a Research Fellow at PaCe said it is obvious that small Pacific island nations are already feeling the brunt of the rise in sea levels in their very own backyards.

“We are the faces of vulnerability and we are the faces of resilience. We should not only tell them (the world) what’s happening to us, we should show them,” he emphasised.

“We need to marry traditional knowledge and science. We cannot do it by ourselves, we need global support and a local solution,” he said.

The conference ended today.

This news item was published on 9 Dec 2013 05:05:54 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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