Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lessons learnt by the Pacific

16 May Nadi Fiji - In 2010 the One Pacific Voice was heard loud and clear at the International Biodiversity Conference which brought 18,000 people together to forge a path forward to help save and strengthen global biodiversity.  This week in Fiji, the Pacific region has regrouped to reflect on what was learnt while at the CBD COP 10 in Nagoya.  Day one of the meeting today, heard from five different Pacific representatives’ share their experiences with others.

“I gained personally and professionally.  Planning and prioritising on a daily basis is crucial when you attend the COP, you always need to be in good health as it’s a lengthy and can be a stressful process.  You need the energy to attend discussions during the days and nights.  It is a good experience but gruelling and you should try to be in all aspects of the COP – working groups, side events, plenary sessions and ministerial level meetings.” – Eleni Rova Tokaduadua, Fiji

“It was good to see that we had synergized issues so that what is said not only benefits your country, but the Pacific islands region as a whole.  It was also helpful that everyone shared information and resources – I was glad that we had people attending who were willing to share information with you on what happened at meetings in case you missed out so you can be kept up to date.” – Fale’afaga Tony Tipama’a, Samoa

“I think having at least one week for negotiations training would be helpful for the Pacific delegates so we can be confident and prepared at this level.  I also think we in the Solomon Islands should have a national workshop like Fiji so when we come together we can feed the results into the Pacific region.” – Joe Horokou, Solomon Islands

“I was fortunate and happy to represent my country, I learnt the value of a side event and how you can use it to raise your country profile.  We also found the half day meeting just before the COP where we learnt about the processes very helpful.  Another highlight for me was how once we had made the Pacific opening statement - it opened the door for support of our position from other regions.”  Solomona Lotoala, Tuvalu

“I recommend that you familiarize yourself with the pre-COP information, package so you are really well prepared for the COP meeting.  It’s also good if you look for the media for updates, visit the SPREP media releases and the Earth Negotiations Bulletin is also helpful to keep you updated.  There is also a wealth of information within the Pacific delegations, there are a lot of experienced people, it’s good if you can learn from them” – Joseph Brider, Cook Islands

"Talking the Biodiversity Talk":  COP = Conference of the Parties

Notes:The meeting is held from 16 – 20 May at the Tanoa Hotel in Nadi, Fiji.
Participants are from the Cook Islands, Timor Leste, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International (FSPI), IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), WWF South Pacific Programme, University of the South Pacific.

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