GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA
ON AGENDA ITEM 7 (B):
“REVIEW OF ADEQUACY OF COMMITMENTS”
INTERGOVERNMENTAL NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE
UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 1995
DISTINGUISHED CO-CHAIRPERSONS AND COLLEAGUES,
THE FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA wishes to support the position of the Group of 77 and China as stated so eloquently by the G-77 Chairman yesterday. We also wish to express our support for the “AOSIS” initiative to take a proactive stance by introducing its’ draft protocol, presented yesterday by the Ambassador from Trinidad and Tobago.
We have listened carefully to the arguments and positions previously presented by our fellow negotiators and colleagues as to the adequacy of commitments under the current “FRAMEWORK” Convention.
We have heard our brother from Fiji emphasize the fact that we small island nations face the consequences of Climate Change as a threat to our very survival.
We do very much identify with other countries which have vulnerable coastal zones and low-lying areas, however we- a remote, widely dispersed nation of mostly low-lying small islands would like to add our own unique perspective to this issue.
The response indicated thus far by the action plans the Annex One countries submitted were, in our opinion NOT sufficient to ward off the devastating consequences WE face from Climate Change due to anthropogenic emissions of Greenhouse gasses. Thus, we must conclude that the FRAMEWORK CONVENTION alone does not prescribe commitments adequate to achieve it’s OWN stated objective.
We DO agree that this convention is a sincere endeavor to achieve international and global cooperation. The Federated States of Micronesia, as a newly developing country, is indeed very fortunate to be in a position from the beginning to consider sustainable alternative technologies for the development of our islands. We WELCOME opportunities to engage in dialogues regarding technology transfers and enhancement of indigenous capacity. But, we also must state– in choosing this path, we would firmly reject any pressure from Annex One countries to impose ANY commitment on developing countries to reduce their Greenhouse Gas emissions.
The FSM has already completed a National Survey of Sources and Sinks of Greenhouse gasses. We found this to be a very useful exercise. All countries can gain much knowledge by assessing their vulnerabilities, despite historical, colonial roots of the Climate Change problem. In the context of related development issues, we must emphasize that we are not here NOW to discuss our serious development concerns in a modified context.
We are here now to talk about Climate Change and its ultimate consequences if NO substantial action is taken.
We can not speak for all the peoples of the Pacific, but we would like to express that it is not just a concern about a little lost land or potential inundation and inconvenient relocation.
What our neighbors who live on continental masses may fail to realize or recognize is that the Pacific Island cultures are based on their very limited ties to specific land and places. Ownership of ALL land, even uninhabited atolls, is held according to customary precepts of what Western people call: “Title.” Those unfamiliar with island cultures might think, “You islanders can just pick up and move to some other island with higher ground when the sea rises or your fresh water lens disappears or your tare patches are salinated.” THIS IS A MISCONCEPTION!!! We don’t have the luxury of taking our canoes and moving on to discover new uninhabited islands, as did our ancestors.
If Micronesian islanders lose our home lands due to Climate Change, we may, or may NOT find means of dispersal as “Environmental Refugees.” We will certainly lose the socio- environmental culture that constitutes our existence on the planet. Say what you will about pragmatism in today’s world, but this would be a very significant loss to ALL the peoples in the international community.
Our island lands and waters are IMMENSELY VALUABLE TO THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT. Further “IPCC” research will clarify the contributions made by our immense EEZ’s as carbon sinks, and, if economic incentives and penalties become a feature of the Convention’s implementation, this issue ought to be investigated thoroughly so small island developing states receive credit for the huge contribution they make.
We in the FSM found that having conducted our Greenhouse Gas inventory, we can establish baselines and agendas for future development projects. We can now identify areas where we need to focus on collection of more data. We can now participate in constructive dialogue about further work required from the “IPCC” to refine methodologies. We have clarity regarding further specific technological assistance that we will require.
Thus, as long as developing countries’ contribution to the global body of information remains VOLUNTARY, we support the request that action begins at “COP One” to set timetables for targets that go beyond the Year 2000.
THE “AOSIS” PROTOCOL IS A REALISTIC AND LEGITIMATE BEGINNING FOR THAT PROCESS AND WE URGE ALL PARTIES TO GIVE IT THEIR FULL CONSIDERATION AND SUPPORT.