Landmark FFA resolution on climate change adopted by WCPFC16

Posted on 10 December 2019
Representatives of member states in discussion at WCPFC16 in Port Moresby, PNG.
A landmark Forum Fisheries Agency resolution on climate change has been adopted by the 16th annual meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, creating a platform for a more urgent response to global warming by the world’s largest tuna fisheries organisation. 

The resolution means the WCPFC will now more closely consider the impact of climate  change  on  migratory  fish  stocks,  food  security  and  livelihoods  in  the  Commission’s Convention Area,  as  well  as  the  implications  for  fishing  activities.  The  effects  on  Small  Island Developing States (SIDS) will be a particular focus. 

The resolution – passed today during the final hours of WCPFC16 – also means the WCPFC will take account of climate change when developing conservation and management measures and support more investigation of the issue by Commission scientists. 

Additionally,  the  adopted  resolution  requires  the  WCPFC  to  consider  how  it  can  reduce  the 
environmental impacts of its operational activities. 

FFA Director General, Manu Tupou-Roosen said FFA Members were extremely pleased to see the  resolution  adopted,  given  the  particular  vulnerability  of  Pacific  Island  countries  to  climate change. 

“From the perspective of FFA members, the adoption of this resolution is a key development,” said Dr Tupou-Roosen.

“It establishes a solid foundation for a more urgent approach to the threat of climate change, and not a moment too soon. While the resolution is non-binding, it will underpin momentum on this critical issue.” 

FFA Chair, Eugene Pangelinan said: As responsible fisheries managers we have a part to play in addressing climate change and the WCPFC’s willingness to endorse this resolution will send a powerful message globally that it is stepping up to the challenge.” 

He added that the focus in the resolution on assessing the impact of climate change on Small Island Developing States was particularly pleasing. 

“We came into WCPFC16 lobbying for Commission members to consult more comprehensively with SIDS. The special reference in the adopted resolution to SIDS shows that our concerns are being heard. There’s a long way to go, but this resolution is a good starting point.”  


Further  details  about  key  issues  for  FFA  Members  at  WCPFC16  are  in  the  attached  Media  Backgrounder. Media enquiries: Mr Tevita Tupou - +675 7333 9945 
Representatives of member states in discussion at WCPFC16 in Port Moresby, PNG.
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