"Living with Change" - Tokelau attends the UN Climate Conference
- Published on 12 November 2016
Ms. Paula Faiva the Climate Change Manager and Mr. Penehuro Lefale, Senior Advisor, Climate Change, are here not only as part of the New Zealand delegation but they are also here to support and work alongside with the rest of the Pacific family attending COP22.
Climate change is a priority for Tokelau, a non-self-governing territory of New Zealand which consists of three small coral atolls – Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo that are three to five metres about sea level. Its total exclusive economic zone is approximately 300,000km2 and it has a population of approximately 1,499 in the latest census just completed last month.
"Climate change is a huge challenge for Tokelau, we have identified it as a key constraint to our development, thus we have to pro-actively address it in our development plans. We have a lot to lose and being here at the COP22 is a good opportunity for us to let the world know that when they are making decisions, they need to be aware of us, the people on the front lines," said Ms. Faiva.
For the past three months, Tokelau has undergone a strong consultation process as part of developing its LivC Strategy. Undertaking a collective approach to ensure inputs from all community members of all ages, it will be launched next year once final endorsement has been made.
The vision of the LivC Strategy is for Tokelau to be a climate resilient and ready nation, with healthy ecosystems, communities, and economies that are resilient in the face of change. The LivC identifies three inter-related strategic Climate Resilient Investment Pathways (CRIP) that need to be supported and pursued by Tokelau and her development partners, working in partnership, in order to enhance her resilience and readiness to climate change and related hazards, and in the context of national sustainable development. The three CRIPs are: 1 Mitigation: Decarbonisation development, 2. Adaptation: strengthened integrated risk reduction and enhanced climate change and disaster resilience; and 3. Human Development.
Tokelau boasts at least 90% renewable energy sources for the island atolls electricity, having achieved this historical milestone in 2012, being the first in the world to do so.
Having completed a situational analysis, the LivC Strategy will help guide future climate change developments in order for Tokelau to become a climate resilient and ready nation.
"We learnt from our elders that our traditional knowledge is changing as our climate changes, a lot of our species have disappeared and erosion is such a big issue in Tokelau with the sea level rise. We have to address all of these and achieve our vision of being a resilient nation that is prepared for what may come." - #4PacIslands
The UNFCCC COP22 is held in Marrakech, Morocco from 7 to 18 November, 2016. For further information on COP22 please visit: http://unfccc.int/2860.php