18 Jun 2014

Pacific churches raise concerns about PIDF

2:32 pm on 18 June 2014

The Pacific Conference of Churches says the green economic focus of the Pacific Islands Development Forum's summit will not bring about the fundamental change the region needs.

The PIDF meeting starts today in Nadi and its theme is sustainable and resilient green growth.

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Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

But the Pacific Conference of Churches General Secretary, Reverend Francois Pihaatae, says this model will not guarantee the kind of development the region's peoples need.

He says the green economy approach to development has well documented shortcomings and risks, a key concern being that it fails to move beyond 'growth-centred' development - that is, it is business as usual.

Reverent Pihaatae says a PCC concept - Rethinking Oceania - was critical to the establishment of the PIDF.

He says the PIDF needs to be true to key aspects of that idea, such as governance, development, environment, security, social cohesion.

Reverend Pihaatae also says the churches are concerned that the steps the PIDF is taking risk little more than a shifti in reliance on one group of patrons for another.