|“I sit in my house, I look to the front, I see the ocean. I look to the back, I see the lagoon. Without the ocean, the people of Tokelau would not survive, we could no longer exist”. This brief statement by Tokelau Minister of Education, Saili Patea was a welcome audience contribution at a SIDS side event on the Global Ocean Commission (GOC), facilitated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
Minister Patea wanted to remind people that the importance of the oceans lies in it being the livelihood for many, including Tokelauans. She also congratulated the GOC on the eight proposals it makes at the website www.globaloceancommission.org. These proposals are derived from the GOC Report that was launched late June 2014. This report highlights the decline of oceans and puts forward drivers for recovery in the form of these eight proposals.
Members of the panel at SPREP today included the Minister of Natural Resources, Environment & Tourism for Palau, Umiich Sengebau; Senior Climate Change Advisor of Tuvalu, Remi Parmentier; Deputy Executive Secretary, GOC and GOC Commissioner, Hon. Robert Hill.
Our Minister was humbled at the reference to Tokelau through Aliki Faipule Foua Toloa's membership as a Commissioner on the GOC and his contribution to the Commission. Commissioner Robert Hill read an abridged version of the statement by Faipule Toloa to urge SIDS Leaders to listen and enact the proposals of the GOC, so that the oceans can revert back to crying emerald tears and not the red and black tears it is shedding now due to its decline. (The full statement was published on the Tokelau website in August 2014.)
Tokelau Education Minister Saili Patea made a significant intervention at the SIDS side event on the Global Ocean Commission facilitated by SPREP.
(Photo: David Moverley)