Forum praised on environment
Greenpeace has welcomed the emphasis of the South Pacific Forum, just concluded, on environmental issues, but says there is still a long way to go.
"The South Pacific leaders know that environmental issues are not going to go away. The real challenge is putting the words into action and ensuring that environment is genuinely integrated into development and trade decisions", said Noni Keys, Greenpeace Pacific campaigner.
Greenpeace stressed that many of the critical issues facing the Forum island countries, such as climate change, hazardous waste trade, and a nuclear test ban, require urgent response from the industrialised nations, including major trade and development partners from outside the region.
A communiqué issued by the 15 forum countries called for urgent early negotiations of protocols to strengthen the climate change convention, with global warming and rising sea levels being the major threat to the region. Australia and the USA were singled out by Greenpeace as avoiding commitment to strict targets and timetables for the reduction of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.