Tokelau endorses Vemööre Declaration

Tokelau has endorsed the Vemööre Declaration which outlines a range of actions Pacific island governments, partner countries and organisations have committed to take in order to protect the region’s biodiversity.

The declaration was endorsed during the virtual 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, according to a statement issued by the Apia-based Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P).

The Tokelau Director of Environment, Mika Perez, told the regional biodiversity virtual conference that Tokelau wanted to join the high level ministerial collective response and gave their full support and endorsement of the Vemööre Declaration.

He said the declaration “raises our individual as well as collective concerns about the poor status of biodiversity in the region.”

“We are already in a state of biodiversity chaos in the region. However, we must address these issues in a holistic way to include the international community in order to succeed,” he added.

In 2012 Tokelau became the first country in the world to produce all its electricity from renewable energy. The country’s estimated population is 1,400 who are highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. 

For Tokelau, who are considered world leaders in environmental sustainability despite being the smallest economy in the world, the actions of the global community are crucial to save the Pacific islands.

“I applaud the effort of the Vemööre Declaration for taking our concerns to the next levels where the problems emanate and had been manifested with very little action taken for far too long,” Mr. Perez further emphasised. 

He added that a strong and healthy environment will contribute greatly towards the resilience of Tokelau.

The Vemööre Declaration calls for worldwide cooperation to address the global drivers of environmental change which affect the Pacific so profoundly, according to the S.P.R.E.P. statement.

It strongly affirms the unique opportunity presented by the negotiations of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

According to the S.P.R.E.P. statement, in 2010 over 190 Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity committed to achieving 20 Biodiversity Targets, known as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, over the course of 10 years by 2020. 

These were to be revisited at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the C.B.D which has been postponed to 2021, and work now continues with Parties to negotiate a new post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to set renewed biodiversity targets.

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