02 March 2020 – Ambassador Mara attended the 3rd Morocco-Pacific Islands Forum in Laayoune from 25-28 February and briefed the Moroccan’s senior government representatives on the PIDF’s mandate as a South-South Cooperation platform in the region tasked in supporting member states transits to greening their blue economy, with the active participation of the private sector and the successful delivery mechanism of civil societies to develop business application to sustain the work undertaken in conservation, climate action, renewable energy and ocean management.
Ambassador Mara accompanied Pacific Island leaders led by the Prime Minister of Tonga, the Speaker of the Nauru Parliament, the Foreign Ministers of PNG and Solomon Islands, and Ministers from Vanuatu, Kiribati, Palau and Marshall Islands. Ambassador Mara held bilateral meetings with senior Moroccan government representatives, including its Foreign Minister, the Minister for Energy & Environment, the Director of the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation, the Director for Vocational Training, the Director-General of the Confederation of Moroccan Chamber of Commerce and the Senior-Executive of the of the Mohamed VI Polytechnic University.
The meeting adopted the Laayoune Declaration which reiterated the importance of urgently addressing the devastating impacts of Climate Change on the health, livelihood, culture and security of the Pacific Islands and acknowledged the commitment of the Moroccan Government to provide technical assistance and share sustainable development experiences and expertise in the area of Climate Change adaptation, Education/Training, Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security and Health.
20 February 2020 – PIDF Team Leader Programme Management Mark Borg and Programme Management Coordinator Nikhil Lal participated in the inaugural meeting of the Plastic Waste Free Islands Project, implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with financial support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). The PIDF team emphasised the need to address the matter with urgency and ensure we have alternative and safe products in place before plastic bans are introduced, to find economically viable solutions and to involve the private sector at every step of the way as they will be the ones driving the transition.
18 February 2020 – PIDF Secretary General Ambassador Solo Mara and Team Leader Programme Management Mark Borg met with Ms Susana Waqainabete-Tuisese, Country Director of the Fiji Programme of Conservation International to discuss collaboration in initiatives that support community income generation with Private Sector involvement that would also have positive conservation outcomes.
13 February 2020 – The PIDF Secretariat hosted a preliminary discussion and way forward on the Pacific Region’s Organisations Partnership (PROP) concept with representatives from MSG Secretariat, Mr Stanley Wapot (Programme Manager for Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management) and Mr Christopher Waiwori (Senior Executive Officer). The Pacific Region is fortunate to have a number of organisations (Regional/Sub-Regional Organisations, International CSOs, UN Agencies, Academic Institutions and Interest Groups) performing important work related to Green/Blue Economy and Sustainable Development in order to improve the lives of Pacific people and their environment. For this reason these organisations have felt it necessary to form a lose partnership (called Pacific Region’s Organisations Partnership) to optimise the work of these organisations.
13 February 2020 – PIDF Secretariat hosted a Talanoa session on the Pacific Decade for Sustainable Transport yesterday. Ship owners and shipping agencies were encouraged to contribute their perspectives and suggestions for the common goal of reducing both costs and emissions by reducing the use of fossil fuel in the shipping sector. During the discussions ship owners recommended that Government needs to step in and play an important proactive role to support sustainable transport. Consultation with the private sector would be very vital to find solutions suitable for all. Sustainable transport systems make a positive contribution to the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the communities they serve. Transition to sustainable transport is important and the sector would benefit from the right regulations and incentives.
12 February 2020 – Ambassador Solo Mara acknowledged the Courtesy Visit by the Regional Representative of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Chitralekha Massey this morning.
11 February 2020 – A PIDF Programme team consisting of Team Leader Mark Borg, Coordinator Afsrin Ali and Intern Jordan Longworth visited the Permanent Secretary of the Fiji Ministry of Agriculture Mr Ritesh Dass and the Chief Economist Ms Sera Bose to share information on PIDF initiatives as well as explore areas of collaboration. Read more.
10 February 2020 – Pacific Islands Development Forum secretariat was honored to host Ms Miyeon Park, Portfolio Specialist- Asia and the Pacific of the United Nations Volunteers, where discussions centered on PIDF work in the Pacific and areas of mutual interest.
6 February 2020 – Ms. Eseta Nadakuitavuki the Manager of Women’s Markets and Sustainability for Westpac Banking Corporation in Fiji, who is also the current Vice President of Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF) and is involved with one of its nine councils as the chair of the Women Entrepreneurs Business Council (WEBC) paid a courtesy call with her team to the PIDF Secretariat. PIDF Secretary General- Ambassador Solo Mara together with the PMU Team Leader Mr. Mark Borg and Coordinator Ms. Afsrin Ali briefed the WEBC team on the initiatives of PIDF and further discussed synergies and avenues of collaborations towards sustainable development especially for the women entrepreneurs in the private sector.
5 February 2020 – University of Fiji Vice Chancellor Professor Sushila Chang and the Registrar Ms Karishma Mani met with PIDF Secretary General Ambassador Solo Mara and Team Leader Programme Management Mark Borg to discuss ways to strengthen the partnership between the two organisations. In the meeting they shared information on their ongoing initiatives with the intention of involving University of Fiji students in research required to achieve PIDF’s mission and support Pacific Green and Blue Economies.
23 January 2020 – PIDF Secretariat hosted a Talanoa session this evening on “SEA LEVEL RISE AND MARITIME SOVEREIGNTIES IN THE PACIFIC”
It was an honor to have Professor Edvard Hviding who is from the University of Bergen. Professor Edvard Hviding’s on a major international research project he is undertaking on the subject matter as Project Director and funded by the Research Council of Norway through its programme for scientific excellence. The director presented agendas of research and invited opinions and suggestions from the prominent representatives of the Pacific region itself. The Talanoa forms part of the ongoing dialogues of the Mare Nullius project with the region.
22 January 2020 – PIDF Secretary General Ambassador Solo Mara and Mr Mason Smith, Regional Director of the Oceania Regional Office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, today signed an agreement for PIDF to become a member of the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT). During the meeting the PIDF and IUCN also agreed to pursue collaborative efforts in areas of sustainable forest restoration and management, green packaging to replace plastic and other non-compostable packaging materials and marine spatial planning.
20 January 2020 – Ambassador Isikeli Uluinairai Mataitoga, who is an Ambassador of Fiji to Japan, was given an update of the work that PIDF is undertaking. It was acknowledged that some of these activities could have synergies with development work that Japanese entities were supporting.
16 January 2020 – PIDF Secretary General Amb. Solo Mara and Team Leader Programme Management Mark Borg presented PIDF’s views and recommendations to the Fiji Parliament Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence in regards to the Parliament’s consideration of adopting and ratifying the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer. The Standing Committee was represented by the Chair Hon. Alexander O’Connor, Hon. Dr. Salik Govind, Hon. Lenora Qereqeretabua, and Hon. Anare Jale. Read more.
13 January 2020 – UNOSSC Regional Coordinator (Asia-Pacific) Mr. Denis Nkala paid a courtesy visit to Ambassador Solo Mara and the PIDF Staff this afternoon discussing the purpose of South South Cooperation platform and the significance of Triangular cooperation. SSC is about developing countries working together to find solutions to common development challenges. Involving two or more developing countries, it can take place on a bilateral, regional, intra-regional or interregional basis. PIDF continuously looks forward for future collaborations with the UNOSSC Team based in Suva as their Sub-regional Office for Pacific.
10 January 2020 – Ambassador Solo Mara and Team Leader Programme Mark Borg met with PIPSO CEO Ms. Alisi Tuqa discussing how PIDF could support private sector better, concerning in areas of sustainable Transport, energy, building resilience & conservation.
7 December 2020 – The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF), the Pacific Blue Foundation (PBF) and the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area Network (FLMMA) have agreed to work closely together for the benefit of island and coastal communities. The three organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding that would guide this relationship over the coming years. Read more.
5 December 2020 – The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) and Solar Head of States (SHoS) launched the Pacific Solar Challenges on the 3rd of December at a Side Event in Madrid Spain, along the margins of the UNFCCC COP 25. A regional initiative, the Pacific Solar Challenge will see national competitions for youths take place in participating countries where participants will be tasked to design a project that showcases the benefits of solar energy, using mediums such as videos, songs, posters and essays. PIDF and its partners aim to further encourage youth participation in the renewable energy transition.
4 December 2020 – PIDF team had a pleasure meeting Pacific Community DDG Audrey Aumua this morning. PIDF SG Amb. Solo Mara discussed synergies and the many areas of potential collaboration between the two organisations to support Pacific countries’ sustainable development efforts.
25 November 2020 – PIDF Secretary-General Ambassador Solo Mara attended the PIANGO board meeting and briefed its members on the 2020 work program of the Secretariat. The discussion amongst other issues shared ideas on how collaborative support can be mutually beneficial to both PIANGO and PIDF at the national level, particularly in the promotion of an inclusive platform to discuss sustainable blue/green economic policies. Ambassador Mara conveyed the Secretariat’s readiness to work with PIANGO to encourage more interactions with the private and public sectors to forge a wholistic approach to sustainable development in member states.
24 November 2020 – At PIDF, we are committed to helping young people take action to protect the future of our planet. We do this by raising youth voices on the climate crisis and by increasing youth participation to address climate change. One such event that PIDF partnered with Project Survival Pacific (PSP), was the Youth Climate Ambassadors Conference, held on the 20th of November at the University of Fiji (UniFiji) in Lautoka and on the 21st of November at Fiji National University (FNU) Nasinu Campus. Read more.
22 November 2019 – Inauguration of Fiji Sustainable Energy Consortium (FSEC)
Today marks a historical moment for Fiji’s private sector players in the Sustainable Energy Industry to have their Consortium formally inaugurated- the Fiji Sustainable Energy Consortium (FSEC). The event being the 1st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the FSEC took place at the Novotel Hotel in Lami, Fiji Islands on 22 November 2019 and was well attended by the senior representatives of some leading private energy companies in Fiji.
21 November 2019 – The Sasakawa Peace Foundation Senior Program officer, Mr.Shiozawa today payed a visit to the PIDF to explore potential collaboration in areas of Maritime Management for the benefit of PIDF’s members. PIDF Secretary General Amb. Solo Mara and Team Leader Policy Research and Evaluation Viliame Kasanawaqa informed him of ongoing and planned development work that PIDF is involved with.
20 November 2019 – The French Ambassador to Fiji His Excellency Jean-Francois Fitou today payed a visit to the PIDF to explore potential collaboration in areas of mutual interest for the benefit of PIDF’s members. PIDF Secretary General Amb. Solo Mara and Team Leader Programmes Mark Borg informed him of ongoing and.planned development work that PIDF is involved with.
20 November 2019 – Ambassador Solo Mara was honoured to be invited as the chief guest at the Sawani Primary School Graduation today. He conveyed his best wishes and congratulated all students graduating this year. Ambassador Mara emphasised that every success comes with a lot of hard work, commitment and sacrifice and one must keep working hard to achieve their goals.
19 November 2019 – The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) and the Fiji Crop and Livestock Council (FCLC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish genuine cooperation and partnerships to improve farmers’ commodity production and livelihood through promoting sustainable, climate smart agriculture and incubating innovative strategies and solutions between farmers, agricultural experts, technical and development partners.”
15 November 2019 – LAUNCH OF THE LAU SEASCAPE STRATEGIC PLAN
The Launch aimed Vanua of Lau to be prosperous and grounded in values of respect and collaboration towards the management of resources for current and future generations. Chief Guest of the Launch was Ambassador Solo Mara the Secretary General of Pacific Islands Development Forum.
13 November 2019 – It was a pleasure for the Secretary General, Ambassador Solo Mara, to receive Mr Santo Darmosumarto, the Director of the East Asia & the Pacific from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Indonesia. Courtesy visit evolved discussions with possible collaboration in the area of blue economy. Also present in the meeting were Ms Arpana Pratap (Team Leader Member Capacity) and Mr Mark Borg (Team Leader Programmes).
13 November 2019 – The PIDF Secretariat welcomed UNDP Resident Representative Mr Levan Bouadze this morning. With the aim of more collaboration positive discussions were done impending possibilities for further engagement. UNDP has planned to focus on Climate Action, Blue Economy and Digital Economy as their key areas of partnership.
12 November 2019 – A delegation from the Presidency of French Polynesia met the PIDF to discuss activities and potential collaboration. In the meeting were Mr Manuel Terai (Permanent Secretary), Dr Mareva Lechat-Kitalong (Pacific Affairs Advisor) and Amb. Herve DeJean de la Batie (Permanent Secretary for Pacific Affairs of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs), Amb. Solo Mara (PIDF Secretary General) and Mr Mark Borg (PIDF Team Leader Programmes).
1 November 2019 – To work towards the lead up to the Fiji Sustainable Energy Consortium Inaugural Annual General Meeting in November 2019, the Government of Fiji’s Department of Energy, the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) and the Pacific Centre of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) held the National consultation in Labasa on the 1st of November. The consultation was attended by various Sustainable Energy Stakeholders who deliberated on the need for the private sector to partake of the business opportunities to achieve deep decarbonisation in all sectors of the Fijian economy.
29 October 2019 – Solomon Islands National Workshop for the Capacity Building to Strengthen Sustainable Implementation of Renewable Energy Technologies for Rural Energy Access Project. Ms. Afsrin Ali, PIDF Coordinator Programme Management is in the Solomon Islands, supporting and co-facilitating the Solomon Islands National Workshop for the Capacity Building to Strengthen Sustainable Implementation of Renewable Energy Technologies for Rural Energy Access Project. Co-facilitators for the workshop are Mr. Hamptan Pitu, the Solomon Islands Project Coordinator and Mr. Mohammed Tazil, GGGI Project Manager. Read more.
22 October 2019 – The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) and Solar Head of States (SHoS) held a soft launch for the Pacific Solar Challenge on the 22nd of October in Nadi, along the margins of the International Renewable Agency’s (IRENA) and the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Statistics Training for the Pacific Workshop. A regional initiative, the Pacific Solar Challenge will see national competitions for youths take place in participating countries where participants will be tasked to design a project that showcases the benefits of solar energy, using mediums such as videos, songs, posters and essays. PIDF and its partners aim to further encourage youth participation in the renewable energy transition.
24 September 2019 – The Secretariat warmly welcomes Mr Hamptan Pitu, who has been appointed as the Project Coordinator for the Solomon Islands component of the Capacity Building to Strengthen Sustainable Implementation of Renewable Energy Technologies for Rural Energy Access Project. Hamptan has a combined, analytical and practical knowledge and strong work experience in relation to natural resource management and conservation. Graduated with a Postgraduate Certificate in Disaster Risk Management from the Fiji National University in 2016 has provided him with a strong footing in working in the field of disaster management and climate change. With a Bachelors of Arts degree at the University of the South Pacific, Hamptan possess ideas of sustainable development with regards to the contemporary development issues. Hamptan has had previous engagement in diverse environments including World Bank Funded Project (CRISP) that deals with addressing issues of climate change and disaster and also Coordinating a DFAT funded project where he actually interacted with communities conducting training and advocacy on sustainability while providing linkages to the government machinery.
20 September 2019 – NIUPAWA FESTIVAL – Keynote Address by PIDF Secretary General
“Yesterday and today we are witnessing millions of people who have taken to the streets in protest to the inaction or slow action of their countries on the existential threat posed by climate change. As of today, more than 5,000 events, mainly student strikes are taking place in 140 countries and its main activist is a teenager from Sweden, Greta Thunberg – at the last Climate Conference in Poland, she said to leaders, “You only speak of green eternal growth because you are too scared of being unpopular”. Later, in Davos, “Young people need more than hope, we want adults, that created this crisis, to panic!” On the front-lines we find our children and youth. Correctly, students around the world decided to take action in their own hands because adults, who should be responsible to ensure security and safety for this planet for future generations to enjoy, have dismally failed them.” Read more.
18 September 2019 – Inaugural Annual General Meeting of the Fiji Bamboo Association (FBA) was held today in Suva. This brought together organisations and individuals with interest in the bamboo industry. Bamboo is a sustainable resource as well as a natural solution and response to the climate crisis. The FBA is a public-private partnership formed for the purpose of promoting, supporting and protecting the bamboo industry in Fiji. The FBA will represent the combined interests of the members with the aim of establishing a thriving bamboo industry in Fiji.
13 September 2019 – PIDF Team Leader Programme Management , Mr. Mark Borg and Coordinator, Ms. Afsrin Ali met with the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific , Programme Manager- Climate Change, Energy and Circular Economy, Mr. Adrien Bulleir, and Programme Officer- Resources and Governance, Ms. Marta Brignone, to discuss Pacific Sustainable Transport initiatives.
13 September 2019 – Newly appointed Vice-Chancellor of The University of Fiji Professor Shuslia Chang was warmly welcomed by the Secretariat team yesterday. Joining in from Cardiff Metropolitan University, Ms. Chang holds high expertise and experience in academic field. PIDF and University of Fiji wishes to work together to help Pacific transit towards a Green-Blue Economy through partnerships and collaboration.
30 August 2019 – The Malaysian High Commissioner visited the PIDF Secretariat today with a delegation from LUX Energy Resources of Malaysia. In the spirit of South-South cooperation and under our mandate for promoting innovation, the Secretariat hosted a meeting with PIDF members and energy private sector representatives to be introduced to a new renewable energy technology recently patented, that could have potential as renewable and green energy in the Pacific.
20 August 2019 – The International Symposium on Renewable Energy, Environment and Climate Change commenced on August 20, 2019 at the Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi. The Chief Guest at the event was Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Honourable Jone Usamate and the keynote address was given by Secretary General-Pacific Islands Development Forum, Mr. François Martel.
15 August 2019 – The PIDF Secretariat welcomed the Sasakawa Peace Foundation Executive Director, Ms. Chano and the Senior Program officer, Mr.Shiozawa this morning. Since the establishment of the Sasakawa Pacific Island Nations Fund in 1989, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) has carried out various activities, including exchange programs and human resource development projects, with the aim of contributing to the stability of the Pacific region as well as the prosperity of Pacific Island nations. More recently, SPF has focused on the Micronesia region such as the Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and Palau and is hoping for more collaboration with the PIDF. SPF and PIDF will now focus on more information sharing on Blue economy and implementing strategies in reaching out to the Sustainable Development Goals. On the other hand Palau’s preparation to host the 2020 edition of the Our Oceans conference is vital indeed for leaders to commit to actions related to sustainable fisheries, marine protected areas, climate change, marine pollution, sustainable blue economy, and maritime security to which SPF is supporting.
14 August 2019 – Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) is aiming to join hands in providing some benefit to the community of Koropita in terms of healthcare through Telemedicine. Dr Azeema Fareed from COMSATS, attended the PIDF Leaders’ Summit last month and got a chance to see the commendable work that was done by the team at Koroipita through the field visit.
12 August 2019 – The secretariat welcomed Mr. Steve Pollard this morning,a consultant hired to do a comprehensive independent review of the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO). PIPSO has been PIDF’s active member since 2016 and have created a better platform to attain inclusivity.
30 July 2019 – PACIFIC LEADERS ATTEND PIDF 2019 CONFERENCE
Pacific Island leaders are currently in Nadi for the 2019 Pacific Islands Development Forum. The sixth edition of the Forum has seen Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama assume the chairmanship of the regional forum from the Solomon Islands. Leaders attending the Forum congratulated Fiji in its leadership of the regional block and assured the incoming chair of their support.
30 July 2019 – PRIME MINISTER ADDRESSES PIDF 2019 CONFERENCE
Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama this afternoon delivered a special statement at the Pacific Island Development Forum 6th session on the PIDF Governance and Institutional issues as the incoming chair of the regional forum.