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Fatu Hiva Island, Polynesia
On the occasion of the second edition of the One Planet Summit, held on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the European Union, New Zealand and Australia have announced the launch of the Pacific Initiative, which has been endowed with more than €21 million.
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The joint Pacific Initiative on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Resilience seeks to help the small islands of the Pacific and their populations adapt to the effects of climate change and to protect their biodiversity through the implementation of nature-based solutions.

The island states of the South Pacific are scattered over 30 million km². They are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change and the risks of deterioration in their ecosystems, as they are the first to suffer from the rise in sea level and are faced with an increased number of extreme climate events. And while the Pacific zone is recognized as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, threats hang over its unique and diverse island ecosystems, which provide vital ecological services to the local populations.

The objective of the initiative, which covers 19 countries and Overseas Territories, is to organize an international coalition to mobilize greater financial resources to accelerate and simplify the funding of adaptation and biodiversity protection.

The initiative will concentrate its actions on two complementary themes:

  • conservation and restoration of marine and land biodiversity, and
  • reduction in vulnerabilities and anticipation of the effects of climate change.

Implementation of the action programs will be carried out mainly but not exclusively by the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), two regional organizations that deliver priorities identified by member countries and have long shown their skills in project management at the regional level.

AFD is proud to commit 10M€ to the Pacific Initiative and help deliver projects in favor of biodiversity protection and resilience of Pacific island communities. We are committed along with our partners of the European Commission, New Zealand and Australia to raise our ambition towards adaptation, especially in the most climate-vulnerable regions of the earth. Starting with these initial contributors, the Pacific initiative aims to grow and is now seeking to convince new partners to finance ever more ambitious projects in the region.

Rémy Rioux, CEO of AFD

The Pacific is home to more than 12 million people, and although their contribution to climate change is minimal, they suffer the consequences greatly. The Pacific also hosts an important part of the world’s biodiversity, which is increasingly endangered. With the EU’s €10 million contribution to the joint initiative, we are renewing our commitment to help protect the region from climate change and its impacts on biodiversity, livelihoods and the environment.

Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development

Biodiversity protection and ecosystem management is central to the development success of the Pacific region, with resilience to climate change being a top priority identified by Pacific Island countries. New Zealand is pleased to support this Initiative, which builds on our efforts to promote biodiversity protection and build resilience to climate change in the Pacific. New Zealand’s contribution will be specifically focused on supporting the Pacific to combat Invasive Alien Species. 

 Jo Tyndall, Climate Change Ambassador of New Zealand

Pacific island countries have identified climate change as the greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and well-being of Pacific peoples. Australia is pleased to support this Initiative which will bring together key partners to help countries respond to biodiversity and climate change challenges. It will add to Australia’s diverse portfolio of climate change and resilience support to the Pacific, which was worth around $200 million over the last two years.

Patrick Suckling, Australian Ambassador for the Environment

Adaptation of populations most affected by the adverse impacts of climate change is not only a priority, but also an act of responsibility. For this reason, France is proud to support a multilateral initiative aiming to increase resilience of the Pacific Islands communities through nature based solutions and biodiversity conservation. 

François de Rugy, French Minister of Ecological Transition and Solidarity

Press contacts

Charlotte-Fleur Cristofari, cristofaricf@afd.fr 
Valentin Riehm – riehmv@afd.fr