RMI joins Pacific climate launch

President David Kabua, center, was joined by RMI leaders for the launch of the Climate Security in the Pacific project earlier this week. Photo: Eve Burns.

The Marshall Islands joined with its neighbors Tuvalu and Kiribati, IOM and the United Nations Development Program Tuesday morning to launch a climate security project for the Pacific.

The virtual launch had people attending at the President’s Office in Majuro and connecting to other high-level leaders and officials via the video conferencing platform Zoom.

The $3.2 million project is part of the UN Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) — the UN’s financial instrument of first resort to sustain peace in countries and regions at risk or affected by conflict, including caused by climate change.

Over the next 24 months, the UN Climate Security Project will provide support to assess and begin activities to support addressing critical climate security challenges faced by the three nations, including displacement and forced migration due to loss of livelihoods, food sources and coastal erosion; increased social tensions linked to shrinking land and fisheries resources; as well as rising costs of responding to worsening natural disasters.

President David Kabua, Kiribati President Taneti Maamau, Tuvalu Prime Minister Kausea Natano, and UN Assistant Secretary General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Khaled Khiari joined together with UN Resident Representative Sanaka Samarasinha and UN Resident Deputy Kevin Petrini, who are both Fiji-based, for the kick off of the new project.

The project is being launched in support of Pacific Island Forum leaders decisions on regional security contained in the 2018 “Boe Declaration.”

The objectives include working with the RMI, Kiribati and Tuvalu on climate security profiles as well as preparing a Pacific climate security assessment and regional security framework.

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