United, Distinctive and Sustainable Pacific Society
The Pacific Islands Development Forum was established in 2013 (its Charter adopted in 2015) with the intention of promoting the Green/Blue Economy with particular focus on leadership, innovation and partnership. A regional organisation, PIDF enjoys the membership of a number of Pacific Island countries, which currently includes Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. It also enjoys the membership of two regional umbrella organisations - the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organisations (PIANGO) representing Civil Society and the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) representing the Private Sector.
Structured in such a way as to be inclusive of government, civil society and the private sector, PIDF ensures a whole-of-Society and multi-stakeholder approach to development. PIDF has established National Sustainable Development Boards in each of its member countries, a multi-stakeholder committee that will be involved in the planning and implementation of PIDF activities at the national level.
PIDF works at the policy level ensuring that countries are equipped to turn their economies in such a way as to empower their people and protect their environment in accord with Green Economy/ Sustainable Development principles. PIDF assists member countries in ensuring that their policy respects these principles and that the implementation of these policies contributes towards the greening of the economy and benefits the people and environment.
Since the organisation’s inception, PIDF leaders have identified sustainable transport as one of the ten priorities for the organisation, with an emphasis on sustainable maritime transport in recognition of the geography of the region.
In so doing they said, “We prioritize alternatives to existing petroleum driven land and sea transportation that significantly reduce fuel imports. Sustainable shipping approaches are to be promoted and adopted as an alternative to provide effective services for remote island communities.”
They again reiterated the importance of this sector in 2015 when they crafted the Suva Declaration. The Leaders declared that we needed “an integrated approach to transitioning Pacific countries to low carbon transport futures, in particular sea transport given its central role in providing connectivity for Pacific Small Island Developing States, including a regional strategy to advocate for and monitor implementation of sector targets through relevant UN agencies commensurate with the 1.5ºC threshold.”
The PIDF Secretariat has taken this responsibility seriously and has not only promoted sustainable transport in the region but globally as well, particularly in its participation in the UNFCCC COP process. PIDF became member of the Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) to support international efforts in the sector, and is also an official supporter of the International Windship Association (IWSA).
In partnership with the University of the South Pacific and University College London, PIDF has in the last few years supported PIDF member countries in their negotiations on emission reductions in both the maritime sector and the aviation sector, in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) respectively.
PIDF will continue to support the Sustainable Transport Sector, with the objective of promoting sustainable land, sea and air transport, through advocacy and innovative approaches that would serve the development needs of communities in an economic and ecological manner, with a special focus on outlying island communities.
PIDF sees the partnership with the Micronesian Centre for Sustainable Transportation as an important element in its strategy to bring about the necessary transformation in the transport sector in the Pacific and will support the MCST in its regional outreach for its advocacy, capacity building and implementation roles.