3 Jul 2013

Pacific disaster meetings playing catch-up in bringing groups together

1:41 pm on 3 July 2013

A Pacific disaster manager says regional bodies are playing catch-up to individual nations in bringing together climate change and disaster teams.

Mosese Sikivou, the Deputy Director of the SPC's Disaster Reduction Programme, says 13 Pacific countries have now integrated their climate change and disaster risk management organisations, which began with Tonga in 2009.

Next week's historical joint meeting in Fiji of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable is the first time the regional groups will come together.

Mr Sikivou says this week managers are discussing their responsibilities, and he says often the terms and definitions they use can work against them.

"One of the main things that is getting in the way is that the very labels that we use, disaster, and climate. We are trying to help countries reduce their risks to development and disaster and climate represent a certain element of risk that they face. So the labels that we use, we become our own worst enemy."

Mosese Sikivou.