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2 November 2023, Suva, Fiji –The Pacific Blue Shipping Partnership (PBSP) meeting, hosted at the Novotel Hotel in Lami, witnessed an influential call for sustainable shipping practices from the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Ambassador Albon Ishoda, Marshall Islands Presidential Special Envoy for Maritime Decarbonization and co-chair of the PBSP, emphasized the critical role of shipping in the Pacific Islands.

Addressing the challenge of connectivity to remote areas, Ambassador Ishoda highlighted a groundbreaking project, supported by the German Government, that focused on constructing a state-of-the-art vessel in South Korea. This initiative aims to significantly reduce fossil fuel consumption by 70%, fostering improved connectivity among islands and fostering potential trade links between nations like Fiji and the Marshall Islands.

Ambassador Ishoda emphasized Republic of the Marshall Islands' commitment to driving sustainable practices in the maritime industry and continues to seek strategic partnerships to bolster its efforts in combating climate change and ensuring a greener, more interconnected future for the Pacific region.

Fiji’s Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Acting Minister for Public Works, Meteorological Services, and Transport Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka, highlighted the pivotal role of shipping in the Pacific's daily life describing shipping as the lifeline connecting urban centers with remote maritime islands, especially crucial during times of crisis.

Minister Ditoka shared that while Fiji envisioned the PBSP as the epicenter of green and sustainable shipping, there were challenges of achieving sustainable maritime practices. He urged the representatives of the seven Pacific Island states present to remain focused on shared priorities, emphasizing the importance of a country-driven approach to effectively address citizens' needs.

"These discussions are expected to shape the future roadmap for the PBSP, guiding Pacific nations toward a greener and more sustainable maritime industry."

The PBSP meeting, which is a platform for countries to identify their unique decarbonization needs with the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, following the Laucala Declaration of 2017 was represented by Fiji, Tonga, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Solomon Island, and Tuvalu.

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(Photo credit: Fiji Government)

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(Photo credit: Fiji Government)

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(Photo credit: Fiji Government)

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president-dr_-irene-taafaki

It is with the greatest sadness that we acknowledge the passing of one of the Micronesian Center for Sustainable Transport’s greatest stalwarts and supporters, Dr Irene Ta’afaki.

Dr Irene first became involved with MCST as the RMI Campus Director who offered and provided us both the physical and administrative office space for our burgeoning Center back in 2015 at the request of the Marshall Islands Government, and more recently transitioning MCST to the College of the Marshall Islands.

Dr Irene always provided us with her advice and wisdom as well as her enthusiasm for capacity development, education and research in the Pacific and in the Marshall Islands especially.  Her humility and wry humour, and no-nonsense approach, combined with her extensive network of professional colleagues and friends, will be immensely missed.  Always there to offer her support when we needed it, Dr Irene steered our canoe with a serene calm that made everyone feel at home and part of a team.

A passionate advocate for weaving together traditional and modern, Dr Irene saw the connections between Pacific seafaring heritage and low carbon transport futures for our remote islands.  She had the shared vision of a Pacific Center of Excellence supporting the Pacific Islands with a breadth of research and training from small scale sailing canoes to high tech flying ships and harnessing the power of the ocean for sustainable futures.

MCST has lost one of our biggest champions.  We will remember Irene with the greatest fondness and gratefulness for having known her and had the pleasure of working with her.

We pass on our deepest condolences to Falai and Irene’s children and grandchildren.  Dr Irene will be remembered fondly by so many people around the world who she has supported over her lifelong service to education and will be sorely missed.

Kommool Tata im Jeramman ilo ial in am Dr. Irene Ta’afaki, kem jamin meloklok eok!

PICAN Webinar: What happened at MEPC80 and what’s next for 6PAC+? - 3 August 2023

PICAN Webinar: The Journey from the Pacific to London - IMO for Climate Justice – 22 June 2023

For more information on the Webinar - From the Pacific to London: IMO For Climate Justice, please click here.

We, Pacific Elders, deeply concerned with the security impacts of climate change, call upon the International Maritime Organization (IMO), as the UN agency mandated to regulate international shipping, to take meaningful strides in steering the industry towards full decarbonization achieving the 1.5° C targets. We note that the IMO adopted an Initial Strategy for reducing emissions from the sector in 2018 and is expected to adopt a Revised Strategy in early July at the MEPC80.

We would also like to highlight the significance of this meeting for shipping, regional and international trade and climate action generally. The matters under negotiation at MEPC80 will have long-term consequences for our economic and societal futures. As many commentators and experts have noted, MEPC80 is the industry’s last opportunity to secure a 1.5°C aligned pathway. Failure to agree on a Revised Strategy will result in a patchwork of regional measures, further isolating developing countries as decarbonization becomes more expensive, and leave them grappling with the impacts on their small and fragile economies with no assistance or intervention.

Download the press release to read more.