A United, Distinctive and Sustainable Pacific Society


Enabling Green–Blue Pacific Economies through Inclusive Strategies,
Multi-stakeholder Governance, and Genuine Partnerships.

Welcome to the E- Bulletin of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF)

We are the Pacific platform for Green Growth & the Global Goals 2030. PIDF is a space for catalysing, mobilizing and mainstreaming action in support of sustainable development through green/blue economy in Pacific Island Countries. We are an action-oriented platform to identify innovative solutions and works closely with international institutions to engage state and non-state actors to develop high-impact collaborations on sustainable development & poverty reduction in the Pacific Islands. PIDF provides a framework for bringing together the expertise of the private sector, normative leadership of the public sector, & successful delivery mechanisms of civil society.

In this special issue we bring you highlights of the PIDF teams participation at the recently held COP23 in Bonn, Germany. By participating in this conference, the PIDF delegation, under the leadership of the Secretary General, attended a number of side events and speaking engagements and as well as new partnership networking opportunities to ensure that the important climate change issues of great concern to its Pacific members are highlighted and pursued during the COP23 proceedings.


The COP23 Climate Conference has been a special place for the Pacific this year. On 15 November, the Republic of Palau signed of the instrument of accession to the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) making it the organisation’s 14th member. Following the signing of the accession document, Palau, PIDF and Solar Head of State signed an MOU for Palau to benefit from the installation of solar panels on a yet to be determined government building.

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During a side event held by Solar Head of State (SHOS) and the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) on the first day of COP23, the Pacific region’s advances in renewable energy took the spotlight. The event in the Fiji Pavilion featured speakers from the governments of Tonga, Niue, Tokelau and Palau and representatives from Greenpeace and ClimateWorks Australia to discuss the various successes of renewable energy in the region and transformative solutions, and the benefit it is bringing to residents.

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High level officials from Pacific Islands have called for a reining in of fossil fuel production in order to stay within the climate limits agreed to in Paris. They were joined in their call by civil society, indigenous, and academic voices. These calls echo the Lofoten Declaration, which affirms that it is the urgent responsibility and moral obligation of wealthy fossil fuel producers to lead in these efforts. The Lofoten Declaration has been signed by 500 organizations globally and was signed on November 16, 2017 by François Martel, the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF).

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The Lofoten Declaration


The evidence of the link between climate change and the ocean’s role in climatic regulation is obvious said the PIDF Secretary Genereal during a special side event on the launch of the Ocean Pathway Partnership at the COP23 in Bonn, Germany.

The launch also presented a perfect opportunity for the Secretary General to highlight the acomplishments of PIDF towards progess made for the Pacific Year for the Oceans 2017 and outcomes of a high level Pacific Blue Economy conference held earlier this year, both of which are part of our two voluntary committments to the UN Oceans Conference held in New York.

"The Pacific people’s dependence on their ocean is also very clear. With PIDF’s push to focus efforts in developing sustainable blue economy it becomes extremely important to limit the impacts of climate change on our ocean as this threatens the very lives and livelihoods of our people," said the PIDF Secretary General, François Martel.


The PIDF Secretary General was invited to present on Reducing Maritime Transport Green House Gas (GHG) Emissions: Decarbonising Supply Chains on the Transport Thematic Day at COP 23, “Transport’s Contribution towards Delivering the Paris Agreement” on Saturday November 11 in Room 6, Bonn Zone.

The side event was organised by the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), International Transport Forum (ITF), International Union of Railways (UIC) and the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate (PPMC).

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LOSS & DAMAGE: Empowering communities to be Green islands – Climate Smart

The PIDF Secretary General was invited to present at a High Level side event on Loss and Damage & the 2030 Agenda: Building Strong Linkages at the COP23 on Wednesday November 15 held at the Fiji Pavilion, Bonn Zone. This side event was organised by UNDESA in collaboration with the President of COP23 (Fiji), the incoming President of COP24 (Poland) and the Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (Maldives) and the UN agencies. This Side Event was intended to be a demonstration of the Co-Organizer’s commitment, focus and continued political emphasis on the issue of Loss and Damage. It highlighted the need for and served to encourage all stakeholders, in the spirit of the Paris Agreement, to address the issue of Loss and Damage in a more focussed and coherent manner.

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The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) presented their carbon emissions offset payment for three of its staff carbon footprint who travelled from Fiji to the COP23 in Bonn at a special side event held at the Talanoa space. The side event which witnessed the launch of the Pacific Environment & Climate Exchange (PECX) which is also an innovative tool of the Pacific Green Business Centre, a digital platform to promote green business models in the Pacific. PECX seeks to create environmental, climate change & sustainable development solutions by empowering & connecting people, ideas & projects in Pacific island countries with people. PIDF was joined by the University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Professor Elisabeth Holland who also presented the USP teams carbon offset payment to Kesaia Tabunakawai, Head of WWF Pacific and a PECX trustee and board member.


The PIDF Secretary General was requested to be on a panel discussion at a side event on Attributing Climate Impact to major Fossil Fuel companies held at Meeting Room 12, Bonn Zone on Thursday November 16, 2017 where he supported the call for a Climate Damages Tax Declaration.

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Climate Damages Declaration


In an emotionally overcharged event, the PIDF Secretary General was honored to be part of the “We, the Pacific” Talking about Pacific Priorities COP23 side event held at the uniting for climate Talanoa Space, Bonn Zone. The event organised by the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN), Climate Warriors and the Office of the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, witnessed the 350 Pacific Climate Warriors present their #HAVEYOURSEI Declaration to remind the world that for us in the Pacific, climate action is about survival. In this authentic display of Pacific Island voices, they united to support Pacific leaders in upholding this moral stance at COP23.

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Fossil Fuels Supply: Pacific call and global response

A talanoa was held on Addressing Fossil Fuels Supply: Pacific call and global response at COP23 uniting for climate Talanoa space on November 12, 2017. Present at this event was the PIDF Secretary General, François Martel, Rod Campbell from the Australian Institute, Laura Merill from the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and Tzeporah Beraman, a Canadian author and activist. Secretary General Martel brought to the discussion highlights of PIDFs work on climate change in the Pacific which included the ambitious Suva Declaration and the call for a moratorium on fossil fuels, work on a proposed Pacific Climate Treaty, PIDF Roadmap on Climate Change and our continued work on advocacy and climate action in the Pacific especially towards the support of the global call to shift away from fossil fuels and move towards renewable energy.


As a key component of their programme, the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) has joined forces for the Pacific with a long-term flagship programme of the Global Island Partnership - the Island Resilience Challenge.

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The Pacific’s new “Green Gold”-Bamboo

Bamboo is a critical material for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and could be an essential plant for helping fight climate change. The UN international climate conference heard at COP23 during a side event on Bamboo for Combatting Climate Change in Island Developing States on 11 November, 2107. The side event, organized by the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), was held at the Fiji Pavilion and saw senior representatives and technical experts from island developing states and international organisations share successful case studies of bamboo for climate change adaptation and mitigation in island developing states, with a special emphasis on assisting SIDS.

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PIDF was represented by Team Leader Program Management, Mark Borg, on a side event discussing Pacific Regional Climate Policy held at the uniting for climate Talanoa space at the COP23 Bonn Zone.
The event organised by the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) also featured Scott Hook from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

An insightful overview was provided to enhance participants comprehension of PIDF's engagements, with its growing list of genuine partners, on climate change from the onset of the deliberations and achievements of the Suva Declaration to the PIDF Climate Change roadmap and a proposed Pacific Climate Treaty.

PIDFs work on high ambition diplomacy and progress on green/blue economies to the progressive work planned to be undertaken through PIDFs strategic plan to advance climate action & advocacy in the Pacific was also highlighted. Participants were reminded on the need to end the reliance on coal and move towards renewable energy with a call to coal producing countries to put an end to coal subsidies if they are to truly meet the Paris Agreement targets.

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Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) members

The PIDF team also attended the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) members meeting which was chaired by Palau Ambassador Olai Uludong at the Forest Stewardship Council International office. The meeting allowed members to briefly share their goals and priorities at COP 23 and to discuss collaboration where feasible especially on enhancing island resilience initiatives. The networking initiative assisted to strengthen the ability of the GLISPA Community to know what each other are doing and to work together on these goals.


Participants of a side event on Limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C at COP23 were informed that our current trajectory towards 4°C degree Celsius increase since pre-industrial level is far from the letter and spirit of the Paris Agreement and it is also irresponsible towards people and the planet, and its impact for Pacific islands remains existential. The event held on November 9, 2017 was co-organised by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) discussed implications on food security, displacement and migration.

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ePOP observations: calling for actions

The PIDF Secretary General was part of an interactive panel for a side event on the Pacific Youth Dialogue on Climate Change: Questions Live that was held at the COP23 Fiji pavilion on 8 November, 2017. The live interactive session was also attended by the Fiji Climate Change Champion, Inia Seruiratu. Secretary General, François Martel was asked questions on natural resources management facing global warming and climate change and on climate risk management and adaptation projects. The event was organised by the ePOP – (eParticipatory Observers Project), a new concept conceived by RFI planète radio (France Medias Monde) and developed in partnership with IRD, PIDF, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) and The University of the South Pacific.

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Addressing Climate Justice
Secretary General Martel was invited to be on a side event panel with a focus on Addressing Climate Justice: Climate loss and damage & who should pay. The event organised by Climate Justice Programme, Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN), Climate Action Network South Asia, Stamp Out Poverty was held at the uniting for climate change Talanoa space, Bonn Zone at COP23. The PIDF Secretary General highlighted work undertaken by PIDF on loss & damage as part of the Suva Declaration and also as in the proposed Pacific Climate Treaty which is being championed by PIDF and partners such as PICAN through a consultative and inclusive process.

Redefining island resilience

Islands are on the frontline of global changes and feel the impacts very directly - from climate change and resource depletion, to urban growth, health threats and food pressures. There is a need for a new model centered on strong multi-sectoral partnerships if islands are to both survive and thrive. The PIDF team took the opportunity to network and discuss upcoming projects in Palau, Fiji and RMI with their genuine partners Precovery Labs and Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) as implementation of resilient, sustainable and equitable development at a local level and strong partnerships are critical to achieving the international community’s shared global agenda.

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Keeping fossil fuels in the ground

PIDF Secretary General informed participants at a COP23 side event on a Talanoa on Keeping fossil fuels in the ground that much faster & decisive action is needed to phase-out coal and that diplomatic and political leadership is needed that is not influenced by the coal industry and its powerful lobby. The side event was organised by the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network and PIDF was invited to be on an interactive panel of activists and technical experts at the uniting for climate Talanoa space, Bonn Zonn on 8 November, 2017.

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