APIL gathered in Pohnpei to discuss issues on: “CLIMATE CHANGE: Regional policies and action plans regarding climate change mitigation.”

CaptureMembers of the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures (APIL) met in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, June 26-28 for its 37th General Assembly, to discuss issues on Climate change policies, mitigation and adaptation.  The opening of the Conference took place at the Pohnpei States Legislature’s Chamber in Kolonia. Pohnpei State Lieutenant Governor, Hon. Reed Oliver welcomed the APIL delegates and expressed his support of the work of APIL in the areas on regional collaboration and cooperation.  His Excellency Robert A. Riley III, US Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia, gave the key note speech where he spoke on climate change mitigation and adaptation programs available under US Aid and other programs under the United States Government and its agencies. The APIL President, Hon. Vice-Speaker Robert I Taulung, welcomed everyone and reiterated in his remarks that our Island nations are on the front lines of global climate change. Heavy rainfall and rising sea levels are eroding shorelines and causing flooding. Warming and increasingly acidic oceans are damaging coral reefs that support fisheries for our sustainable use and attract tourists. At this meeting the APIL members will continue to discuss these important climate change mitigation and adaptation issues and recommend ways in which each APIL member jurisdiction can direct its efforts and advocate for policies and projects that will benefit the constituencies they serve.

APIL expresses its appreciation to the climate change experts and presenters who presented on the theme:  Mr. Asterio Takesy, Vice President- Bank of Guam spoke on “Climate Change: How policy makers in the Pacific region can be the solution and how do we link the business sectors in the equation”. Mr. William Kostka, Executive Director, Micronesia Conservation Trust,  presented on “Green Climate Fund (GCF): Possible funding resource for climate change mitigation and adaptation.” And Maybelline Andon-Bing, Secretary –Ministry of Finance, RMI presented on:“Climate Change and Adaptation programs and projects in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.” These presentations were very informative to the members and we again thank the presenters for their time and tremendous contribution to the General Assembly.  “APIL will focus on gaining the needed support and collaboration from our regional policy makers to improve and provide regional climate change mitigation and adaptation networks throughout our island communities”, said APIL President, Vice Speaker Taulung.

During the final day of the sessions, the members of the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures (APIL) unanimously elected Speaker Fernando Scaliem to serve as the President of APIL for the 2018-2019 Term.

“I believe that regional collaboration is key to addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation and we need to network closely with our Pacific island neighbors” said Scaliem.

Under his leadership, Scaliem will work to ensure that a reasonable and actionable strategic plan is established and acted upon by the APIL. Scaliem made a commitment to work closely with regional chief executives to ensure that policies established by the association are supported and implemented by the APIL member state presidents and territory governors. “The prosperity and long term security of our Pacific people requires that executive and legislative branches of government cooperate.” said Scaliem.

Other officers and leadership positions for APIL’s 2018-2019 Term are:  Chuuk State Senator and Floor Leader, Hon. Nelson Stephen was elected to serve as the organization’s Vice President; Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature’s former Speaker, Hon. Joseph Deleon Guerrero was elected as Secretary and for the first time for this member entity to serve on the APIL leadership, Hon. Kaure Babo, M.P. from the Parliament of Kiribati gained the position as Treasurer of APIL.

The members of APIL, during its 37th General Assembly, adopted nineteen resolutions and they are as follows:APIL Resolution No 37-GA-01

“Conveying the deepest sympathy and earnest condolences of the APIL on the passing of one of FSM’s foremost leaders, the late Honorable President Leo A. Falcam.”APIL Resolution No 37-GA-02

“Committing the APIL to continue the legacy of His Excellency the late Tony A. deBrum through solidarity and unity to combat the overwhelming impacts of climate change.”

The resolutions that APIL passed are below:

APIL Resolution No 37-GA-03

“Urging all APIL member states to accept the cordial invitation of the Republic of Palau to attend the Our Oceans Conference in 2020, and further urging the support of the APIL members states in preparing for and funding this important international event.”APIL Resolution No 37-GA-04

“Respectfully requesting the Micronesia Conservation Trust to include the Republic of Kiribati in the extent of its jurisdiction and the focus of its services.”

APIL Resolution No 37-GA-05

“Commending the efforts of Ms. Yolanda Joab for her tireless efforts, both here and abroad, to address the needs of those who are most vulnerable to the damaging effects of climate change through programs that are changing attitudes about the resources and effects of climate change, and through projects directly designed for climate change adaptation and mitigation.”

APIL Resolution No 37-GA-06

“Supporting the efforts of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands for active membership in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.”

APIL Resolution No 37-GA-07

“Complementing and recognizing the FSM Congress, Congressman Ferney S. Perman, the Governor’s Office, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to the FSM, the FSM Development Bank, the Bank of Guam, the Bank of the FSM, the FSM Telecommunications Corporation, the FSM Petroleum Corporation/Vital, the National Fisheries Corporation, the Caroline Fisheries Corporation, the Micronesian Conservation Trust, the PEW Environment Group, the Pohnpei Port Authority, the Pohnpei Visitors Bureau, the Pohnpei Arts and Crafts, and the Honorable Rohsa Kitti, Mr. William Hawley, for their support in sponsoring the APIL’s activities for the 37th General Assembly meeting of the APIL in Pohnpei.”

APIL Resolution No 37-GA-08

“Commending the Chuuk Language and Cultural Association of Hawaii, Inc. and the Chuuk Language and Cultural School that it sponsors for their efforts to teach the Chuukese language, customs, traditions and culture to young Chuukese who are residing in the State of Hawaii, and urging other Micronesian communities living abroad  to formulate similar organizations to help their young people become fully conversant in their own language and deeply knowledgeable of their own customs, traditions and cultures”.

APIL Resolution No 37-GA-09

“To endorse, as the APIL, the proposed designation of Ant Atoll ‘a protected turtle sanctuary,’ in order to promote and facilitate sea turtle life.”

APIL Resolution No 37-GA-10

“Recognizing the critical nature of addressing the adverse effects of climate change and urgently requesting that all APIL member entities collaborate on developing strong regional policies and action plans to mitigate the effects of climate change.”

APIL Resolution No 37-GA-11

“Calling upon the APIL member entities to work together to formulate regional policies and strategies to increase energy efficiency and independence with a focus on the renewable sector, and make progress on installing and expanding renewable energy networks.”

APIL Resolution No 37-GA-12

“Complimenting and recognizing the Pacific Islands Development Bank for its noteworthy progress in assisting in the economic and social development of its members.”

APIL Resolution No 37-GA-15

“Supporting the 9th Micronesian Games to be held in the State of Yap, FSM in July 2018 and extending congratulations and best wishes to the athletes, coaches and their sponsors to the 9th Micronesia Games.”

APIL Resolution No 37-GA-16

“Whole heartedly commending the U.S. Peace Corps program for the fifty-two years of devoted service provided by around 4,800 Peace Corps volunteers and numerous Peace Corps administrative staff to the islands and peoples of the APIL Pacific.”

APIL Resolution No 37-GA-17

“Respectfully, yet earnestly, requesting all Member Legislative Assemblies of the APIL to continue their support and investment in the Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge Scholarship Fund.”

APIL Resolution No 37-GA-18

“Expressing gratitude and appreciation to the Government and the People of the State of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, and especially to the Ninth Pohnpei Legislature, for the use of their facilities and for their administration and logistic support during the 37th General Assembly of the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures.”

APIL Resolution No 37-GA-19

“The APIL strongly urges its member jurisdictions to take action to conserve biodiversity and easer the impacts of climate change through the creation of marine protected areas in the thirty percent (30%) of their jurisdictional waters by 2030.”

APIL Resolution No 37-GA-20

“Strongly opposing the intent of Bill No. 257-34 of the Guam Legislature which would tax the transshipment of fuels passing through the Port of Guam to the islands of Micronesia and respectfully requesting the Guam Legislature not to enact the bill.”

APIL Resolution No 37-GA-21

“Expressing gratitude to the PEW Charitable Trusts, former APIL President, Carlotta Leon Guerrero and the presenters at the June 26, 2018 workshop for the valuable information received concerning marine protected areas lading to the adoption of 37-GA-19.”

Members of APIL are legislative assemblies of American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, FSM State of Chuuk, FSM State of Kosrae, FSM State of Pohnpei, FSM State of Yap, Island of Guam, Republic of Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Nauru, Republic of Palau and the State of Hawaii. ( www.apilpacific.com)