The Pacific Conference of Churches is calling for less talk and more action that supports the resilience of Pacific communities affected by climate change at this year’s 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.
Pacific Conference of Churches General Secretary, Reverend James Bhagwan says they see the needs of our communities struggling to be resilient.
On the eve of COP27, the Pacific Conference of Churches takes a first step on behalf of regional civil society organisations who have taken the Kioa Pledge to establish the Kioa Finance Mechanism to support adaptation needs of Pacific Island communities affected by climate change.
He says they have the indigenous knowledge and understand their context, they are willing to do what it takes to adapt to the impacts of climate change, but they need help and they need it now, not when polluting countries finally feel charitable.
He says PCC recently supported the Kioa Declaration, and have taken the Kioa Pledge to support the communities by reaching out to their partners and those who are willing to support local communities in small to medium scale adaptation projects.
He says following a request from the community of Ekubu village on Vatulele Island, PCC has sourced funding for adaptation, and loss and damage from climate induced extreme weather.
Bhagwan says PCC has sourced funding from the Presbyterian Church of USA for an outboard engine and solar powered freezer after a boat used by youth to fish for economic empowerment was damaged during TC Yasa in 2020.
He says through the Pacific Islands Feminist Alliance for Climate Justice, PCC has sourced funds for solar powered lights for the community evacuation centre.
He says PCC will also be providing Climate Induced Disaster Risk Assessment training in partnership with UnitingWorld.
He says PCC staff and the staff of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat have donated “dignity packs” for women in the community.
The PCC General Secretary says the equipment and team will be transported via the sustainable sailing vessel the Uto Ni Yalo.
Bhagwan says they support the call at COP26 for more subnational financial support for adaptation and loss and damage.
PCC Ecumenical Animator for Ecological Stewardship and Climate Justice, Frances Namoumou says that as civil society organisations and climate activists build pressure on the negotiation of various climate thematic streams, PCC will continue to weave advocacy and awareness through practical engagements with communities in the front-line of climate losses and damage.
Namoumou says accompaniment is vital in the midst of negotiating this crisis.
She says it means maximizing an opportunity to link what is happening at COP and our radical response to communities’ priorities.
She adds bridging the gaps of accessing funds, identifying key partners at national and local level and collectively co-design solutions with communities that offers a sense of ownership, an ecological transformation, refreshing an old sustainable practice and meeting their immediate needs.
The team departs Suva today to arrive at Vatulele tomorrow.
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