Landmark FFA resolution on climate change adopted by WCPFC16

Wed 11 Dec 2019

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 (see attached) 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.”

 ENDS

Further details about key issues for FFA Members at WCPFC16 are in the attached Media Backgrounder. Media enquiries: Mr Tevita Tupou - +675 7333 9945