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PIDF SG ADDRESSES FNU INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON OCEANS AND RIVERS

Mr Feleti Teo the Pacific Island Development Forum Secretary General addressed the International Conference on Oceans and Rivers organized by the Fiji National University at its Nadi Campus, on 13 October, 2014.

In his address SG Teo spoke on the policy development for sustainable development and the place of the PIDF in the process:

“As you all know environment protection (sustainability) is one of the three key components of sustainable development. The other two are economic and social development.
In the time I have I will seek to provide a brief overview of the role the organisation I represent, PIDF, in advocating and orchestrating regional initiatives to support inclusive sustainable development. A new approach to decision making and deliberating on issues directly impacting on the sustainable livelihood of the people and communities.
The PIDF is a relatively new regional arrangement (organisation) and is designed to provide the space for dialogue (talanoa) on sustainable development that all sectors of society (public, private sector and civil society) participate as equal.
At present there is no formal regional institutional arrangement that provides for such a structured inclusive approach (space) to sustainable development in the Pacific.
PIDF which was established in August 2013 is the first such a regional platform.
Multi-stakeholder participation and the pursuit of green growth in the economies of the Pacific islands are at the core of the PIDF. “

The Secretary General also spoke on the importance of Green Growth to the region:

“In June of this year here in Nadi I presented to the 2nd PIDF Summit the case for the need for Pacific economies to transition to green growth, economic growth that respect (cognizant) the sustainability of the environment and its social implications on societies.
I will now like to provide some insight on the work of the PIDF. I have also prepared some power point slides to aid the presentation.
The theme for the 2nd PIDF summit held in June this year was “Green Growth in the Pacific: Building Resilient Futures and Sustainable Partnerships”. And central to that theme was the urgent need for the Pacific to transition to green economies.
A Pacific that asserts a distinctive Pacific model of “green growth in blue economies” that is strongly aligned to inclusive and sustainable development principles and practices.
At the inaugural PIDF summit in August 2013, leaders of governments, private sector and civil society agreed on the “10 Things” that must be done to achieve green-blue Pacific economies. These “10 Things” are now at the foundation of the PIDF work programme. These are on the slide and include role of healthy people, education and food security matters of relevance to the discussions at this conference.
The vision for PIDF is for “a united, distinctive and sustainable Pacific society”.
The mission of the PIDF is “enabling green-blue Pacific economies through inclusive strategies, multi-stakeholder governance, and genuine partnerships”.
This builds on the unique characteristics of PIDF of inclusivity, multi-stakeholder participation and genuine partnerships.”

Secretary General Teo highlighted the importance of innovation in development:

“In order to achieve the mission, the work program of the PIDF will support the development of ‘regional and national frameworks implementing effective transformation of unsustainable development practices through the use of innovative tools such as green-blue economy, adaptive leadership, and genuine partnerships for Pacific communities’
This focuses on the transformation of unsustainable development practices, utilising innovative approaches, leadership and partnerships that bring about tangible changes to Pacific communities.
It also emphasises the importance of the implementation of national frameworks to promote sustainable development and the need for these to be aligned and integrated with regional approaches.
Ultimately, we want to shift away from a development approach (or paradigm) that places excessive priority to economic development, that can compromise social development opportunities, lead to inequity and degrade natural capital.
And shift towards a more balanced sustainable development that supports a united, distinctive and sustainable Pacific society through green-blue economies.
This will, of course, be possible through the collective efforts of all stakeholders and partners.

Concluding his remarks Mr Teo emphasized the importance of all stakeholders working together towards a sustainable Pacific Society:

“Where does PIDF fit into this. We hope that the PIDF can provide a convergence point where existing and new approaches to green-blue economies are integrated and strengthened.
In this context, working with national mechanisms and ensuring integration with national planning processes and sectoral development plans will be critical.
Important initiatives on green growth are already gaining momentum.
Fiji held its national green growth summit in Suva in June of this year.
Papua New Guinea and Tonga are also making progress in the implementation of nationally appropriate green growth approaches.
We also acknowledge the leadership of the MSG Leaders in their Declaration of commitment to Green Growth and the development of the MDG Green Growth Framework.
PIDF will work with these national and sub-regional approaches and focus attention on creating an enabling environment for green-blue economies that engages communities and creates the incentives for private sector leadership in greening economies.
At the 3rd Global Conference on SIDS in Apia, Samoa in September of this year there was an overwhelming acceptance that sustainable development is no longer the sole responsibility of governments but a shared responsibility of all stakeholders including representatives of the civil society and private sector. It is therefore incumbent on decision and policy makers to involve all stakeholders in the formulation and implementation of policies and laws that impacts on the livelihood of people and communities.
This new approach to sustainable development (inclusive, multi-stakeholder participation and genuine partnerships) should be at the core of the deliberations in terms of the conservation, management and development of oceans and rivers the subject matters of this conference. Thank you.”

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SG Teo in Nadi at the FNU Meeting

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