PARIS (Pacnews) â€” The small island nation of Palau is portraying itself as an example of a country that has taken the global issue of climate resilience and developed a national solution to address the issue.
Palauâ€™s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Olai Uludong, shared her governmentâ€™s landmark decision to create a marine sanctuary, as a commitment to showing resilience at the national level.
In October, the countryâ€™s national congress passed the National Marine Sanctuary Act, which will see 80 percent of the nationâ€™s maritime territory designated as a reserve. This historical decision means that no fishing is allowed in the designated area of Palauâ€™s exclusive economic zone.
Ambassador Uludong said her government is aware that it cannot do it alone but will need partnership â€” through north-south and public and private co-operation.
She also acknowledged that strong political leadership was an important ingredient in Palauâ€™s commitment to resilience.
â€œIâ€™d like to acknowledge this initiative was largely driven by the strong leadership of my president, Tommy Remengsau, that led to the endorsement and approval of the Marine Sanctuary Act, said Palauâ€™s top diplomat at the U.N.
Initiatives taken by countries like Palau is something that the Global Environment Fund or GEF is interested in exploring funding opportunities.
Chairperson and chief executive officer of GEF, Naoko Isshi, suggested that countries use innovative way of using marine resources and packaging it as blue bond and selling it to the international market.
â€œCountries must see their resources as opportunities and not challenges to secure funding for climate resilience,â€ said Isshi.
GEF has set aside $1.3 billion for adaptation funding.
In her short intervention, head of the climate change division at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program, Dr. Netatua Pelesikoti reiterated the concerns of small island states of the difficulty to access climate financing.
â€œThe Pacific looks forward to more simplified and streamlined process for accessing these funds acknowledging the special circumstances of these vulnerable countries,â€ said Pelesikoti.