TOMAMU, Japan, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Leaders of Japan
and Pacific island leaders pledged Friday to enhance and deepen cooperation on
environment issues in the form of the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) in an
effort to build an eco-friendly Pacific.
At the Fifth Japan-Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)
summit, participating leaders and representatives agreed that as climate change
is a multi-faceted cross-cutting issue that affects economic, social, cultural
and environmental well-being and security of the whole world, Japan and PIF
nations and regions need to make concerted efforts to address climate change.
For Pacific island nations, which are vulnerable to
rising sea levels, climate change has become a critical issue.
In light of the Statement of Environment in the
Pacific issued at the Second Japan-PIF summit in 2000, Japanese Prime Minister
Tao Aso and the PIF leaders decided to promote cooperation and establish a
constructive partnership to address environment issues such as climate change
under the PEC and support the sustainable development of Pacific island
To help the PIF nations cope with environmental and
climate change, Japan announced 6.8 billion yen in aid aimed at facilitating
solar power generation and seawater desalination.
At the first session of the summit, the two sides
also highlighted the importance of cooperation in areas of water and sanitation,
Waste Management and 3RS (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle), biodiversity and
To ensure the smooth progress of cooperation in the
areas, the two sides decided to set up a follow-up mechanism of the PEC,
including convene a high level meeting in 2010 as well as a working-level
preparatory meeting sometime after the summit to review the implementation of
the above-mentioned cooperative efforts.
The Fifth Japan-PIF summit opened earlier in the day.
On the agenda of the meeting are issues such as Japan's official development
assistance (ODA) to the Pacific islands, measures to tackle climate change as
well as the fast-spreading A/H1N1 flu.
The two-day summit is co-chaired by Aso and Niue
Premier Toke Talagi, both of whom made speeches at the opening of the meeting.
The PIF groups Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji,
Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau,
Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.