Listen: UN Coordinator in South Pacific highlights need to boost funding against climate change
"Threat to the traditional way of life across the Pacific region is climate change Sesimbra Marinez UN resident coronated for the twentieth. Islands that make up similar Cook Islands new into Okello in an interview with you a news head of UN secretary general and tonic attacks visit to the region these weekend, she says it's vital to make sure that funding continues to help mitigate the worst effects of global warming, while also ensuring sustainable development Paulina Greer spoke to miss marina school on a recent visit to UN headquarters in New York, so long the foreign countries a four nations I cover I also oversee the development of tequila Tokelau, as I mentioned is small nation in the Pacific that covers fourteen that has fourteen hundreds inhabitants distributed across three atoll's small atolls that are very far apart from each other and talk. Are like I lands atolls are very very low level islands and the only access to talk allow is one boat that travels from some oh art to each of this Riyadh also to fucker for McConnell and tough. How to reach the first at all is a twenty four to twenty six hour, both right? And then another nine hours would be necessary to move forward to the second and the third atoll from the third atoll returning to some more is literally a fifty hour straight trip off the ball. So there's just one vote connecting this nation would the rest of the world and primarily would somewhat as as the first stop and. We have run UN missions to talk allow. So they'll my first one was last April. Andrea preparing another one right now in which a had twelve representatives of U N agencies traveling to talk allow by this boat. That is called metallic is a sixty passenger boats. It's very small boat that Braves the very wild Pacific to get to those atoll's. Of course, when we speak about resilience. It's difficult to imagine any nation that is more resilient than tequila. They leave on fishing obviously, and on some very little farming tarot farming dirt start and some fruit farming, and obviously pig-farming so they consume a lot of work meet and the very little production. Very tall expertise, primarily transferring some fruit to New Zealand, they are non-self-governing territory of New Zealand. That's how it's called and with major problems in terms of waste management, for instance. But still the first nation in the Pacific to be one hundred percents powered by solar energy. And that was project that was supported by the United Nations and also funded by New Zealand, the atoll's are extremely exposed to climate change and one last line of defense is the reef and this is common to all of the islands in the Pacific. So the reef as practically breaking the power. Our off the water to destroy the shores when such whether events take place. So the health of the reef is honest sleep alive saving approach for those islands in the Pacific, and for talk allow in particular, so ensuring that the reef is alive that the there is bio-diversity in India reef as fundamental to the long survival of of those nations. So we work a lot on with global environment facility financing on to reach to reef that's the title of our interventions to again, rebuilt marine ecosystems and ensuring that they provide Ford to those nations, but they are also protecting those nations against global warming. The same applies to some o- are and to newer and to Cook Islands. So that's an area in which we are heavily involved across you an agency's to ensure again that marina causes are protected. So we ensure that parts of the year there is no fishing in those areas and communities are very good in overseeing the marina, go system development, restoring restoration. And the tourists miss also protective of the Marine Corps system. Stories miss one of the sources of public revenues in in those countries. So we are aware of the fact that some of the developments associated with climate change will continue in a world of two degrees. Increasing in temperature. There should be a lot of investment made in small island states to ensure that again, they build the walls, and they say. Cure their small populations. Financing is not obviously easy as I mentioned traditional financing behind Development Corporation is not necessarily enough for small island states to be able to survive. So we are trying as much as possible to be more creative. We look into green bonds in the Pacific to support climate. Adopt a climate mitigation, primarily saw resorting to renewable energy completely. And we also look into attracting more impacting basement, very importantly on digital transformation as well. Darrow well-connected through submarine, cables and building digital markets creating digital entrepreneurship opportunities for people in the Pacific as important. They like skill. So as a lot of investment right now in skills, digital skills, and and digital literacy in the Pacific realizing that the digital economy can over. Come some of the physical distances that those countries are, unfortunately, dealing with on a on a on a permanent basis. Do you think that that will entice young people to stay on the islands? Definitely. So so there are a series of challenges that come with again is elation and lack of opportunity so migration continues to be of concern to those islands, Australia and New Zealand, for instance, provides training onside in those countries to young people. So that when they decide to try labor markets in New Zealand and Australia. They would be better prepared to be able to compete that comes after, you know, learning a series of lessons because some of the migration of the Pacific, and it up in those countries not necessarily being able to secure job and to secure a good paying job and to be able to support their families by. So remittances as a as a result of high migration represent and other important, incoming financial flow revenue flow into those countries. So we are looking into ensuring that young people have skills have skills that are relevant to their own markets and primarily digital transformation and penetration of technology in those islands would offer job opportunities. So building skills is important. And we think that yes, digital businesses would allow them to operate from their own islands and secure an income for for their families. But again, the skills gap is of concern, and we are prioritizing that in our work moving forward. We also hope that among small island states. There is more transfer of of lessons that something that the United Nations can broker and that. Again was the lower transaction costs. We give them access to knowledge. And if I can speak about the project that is very dear to my heart will look into creating access to knowledge us as a public good in the Pacific and in small island states, those countries because of isolation have not had the opportunity to access cutting edge research and being able to read scientific journals and being able to read text books if you wish and that's a big concern as we can imagine any sustainable development of access to knowledge is not possible. So that trying to do with hopefully, the support of the dark hammer showed librarians is to build digital content in the Pacific digital libraries that on one hand would digitized. What they have their own research their map. Stor documentaries their music, their artifacts understanding that this is a culture that we need to preserve. While also developing platform of partnerships for them to be able to again, access journals, and and research and studies and books and maps of the world."