Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment, Patrick Suckling, completed a two-day visit to Port Vila to work with the Vanuatu Government to address the effects of climate change in the Pacific region.
Ambassador Suckling signed an MOU with the Minister responsible for Fisheries, Matai Seremaiah, to strengthen the management of coastal fisheries in Vanuatu. This Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) project, implemented by the University of Wollongong’s Australian National Centre for Ocean Research and Security (ANCORS), will combine world-class research with local knowledge to ensure coastal fisheries will continue to thrive despite a changing climate and increasing pressure from population growth.
While in Port Vila, the Ambassador met key climate change partners including in the Ministry of Climate Change, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP), Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Save the Children and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Australian High Commission reports.
At COP21 in Paris, Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, committed Australia to spending AUD$1 billion over 5 years to build climate resilience and reduce emissions. The Prime Minister has also pledged $300 million to Pacific Island Countries to manage climate change and improve resilience, including $75 million for disaster preparedness.
Patrick Suckling was appointed Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment in January 2016. He is responsible for promoting and protecting Australia’s national interests on global environmental issues, including through leading Australia’s negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.