A new partnership formed between the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Government of Monaco to address Ocean Acidification was formalised on the margins of the COP 21 in Paris, France today.
An action based partnership to strengthen the resilience of Pacific island countries and territories to Ocean Acidification was signed between the Government of New Zealand and SPREP this year. This regional initiative is now strengthened by the support from Monaco.
“Our Ocean is centrically entwined with the livelihoods and cultures of Pacific island communities and over the next four years this partnership will help us learn more about the impact of ocean acidification as the ocean absorbs up to 24% of the carbon released into the atmosphere,” said Mr. Kosi Latu, Deputy Director-General of SPREP.
“This should lead to the identification of concrete adaptive actions in island communities that will help build resilience of coastal systems impacted by increasing ocean acidification and ultimately the lives of coastal communities.”
Ocean acidification poses a direct threat to the marine resources such as coral reefs and sea shells. It will also have direct and indirect impacts on Pacific island coastal and pelagic ecosystems. In the Pacific islands, coastal fisheries accounts for USD 200 million in subsistence value and another USD 165 million in commercial value with the Pacific island region industrial tuna fisheries estimated at USD 6 billion.
“As Monaco is deeply involved in ocean preservation and the fight against the adverse impacts of climate change, we are pleased to conclude a partnership aimed at tackling both issues in the Pacific island region,” said M Gilles Tonelli, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Government of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco.
“This project on ocean acidification is very significant for us. Not only will it help the Pacific Ocean but it all the Oceans across the world.”
The Pacific island Ocean Acidification Partnership has three key outputs that include a regional vulnerability ocean acidification assessment and research and ecosystem monitoring data to inform policy and adaptation; practical adaptation actions identified and carried out, including in pilot project areas and; to ensure that Pacific island capacity is built to understand and adapt to ocean acidification as well as help raise awareness of this issue.
“The support we received to undertake actions to address this emerging issue with our Pacific island communities is very much appreciated, it is with partners such as the Government of Monaco, New Zealand, our island members and partner regional organisations that we can work effectively to assist our Pacific island region.”
The Government of Monaco is contributing 60,000 Euro to this 1.8 million NZD partnership that is implemented by SPREP with the University of the South Pacific and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
SPREP is the lead Pacific Inter-governmental agency coordinating climate change activities in the region and support Pacific Island Countries to meet their obligations under the UNFCCC- #4PacIslands