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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. 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.

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