HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 591: 23 November 2011

Climate change documentary screening preludes COP17
The latest UN Climate Change Conference (COP17) is set to kick off next week on Monday 28 November and will see many Cook Island delegates travelling to take part in the high level negotiations. This week local film director David Ngatae, in association with the Cook Islands National Council of Women, will air the latest documentary from local community-based organisation Alliance for the Environment, called ‘Surviving in the Cook Islands’.
The documentary looks at the experiences of people on Nassau and Pukapuka during cyclone Percy and touches on some of the many issues surrounding climate change, as it relates to the Cook Islands. The issues highlighted by the documentary are specifically those faced by remote communities as the effects of climate change become more severe and frequent. Ngatae expressed his desire to see more assistance for the outer islands. “Remote islands are so isolated - we need to look at our remote communities and give them some more help.”
Ngatae is also the chair for local climate change non-government organisation (NGO) Cook Islands Climate Action Network (CICAN) and he commented on the role of NGOs in climate change. “As NGOs I feel that the most important thing at the moment is to let our own people know the truth about climate change and to help prepare them for the likely events that the changing climate will bring - without relying on outside help to come to their aid.”
Ngatae is no stranger to the UNFCCC negotiations and has represented the Cook Islands as part of global climate change NGO, Climate Action Network, in past UN climate change conferences. Of the meeting in Durban he commented, “I don’t know what outcome will be achieved in Durban COP17, but I’m not expecting much to be agreed upon. With the failure of the Copenhagen meeting, there is now real mistrust amongst Parties to reach a fair and binding agreement. Having also accepted the Copenhagen Accord as a fast-start financial solution to the UNFCCC process, it now seems that some Parties are using this to delay making any decisions on reducing emissions. This of course is particularly critical for us here in the Pacific with most of the islands only a few metres above sea-level.” Ngatae emphasised however that it was vital for our delegates to continue attending the negotiations. “We can’t stop attending these meetings and lobbying the world to wake up, because that is all we can do, apart from reducing our own emissions as well.” ‘Surviving in the Cook Islands’ will have its second screening on CITV on Thursday 24 November at 7:30pm and is proudly sponsored by the Cook Islands National Council of Women. -Ngariki Ngatae

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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