18 Feb 2016

Even louder regional voice needed in international arena

4:11 pm on 18 February 2016
SPREP Director-General, Kosi Latu.

SPREP Director-General, Kosi Latu. Photo: RNZI / Sally Round

The newly appointed head of the region's main environmental agency says the Pacific should aim for an even louder voice at future international negotiations on climate change.

The Director General of SPREP Leota Kosi Latu said the region needs to continue to come up with innovative ways of having its concerns heard.

Leota said there was a paradigm shift in mindset at the Paris climate change talks last year but there is still work to be done to shift the thinking of some countries.

He advocates non conventional means like using Pacific culture.

"Just before I was talking about the link between climate change and the arts. We have a close partnership with the Pacific vakas. These are the traditional canoes and so we are using that cultural link to spread the message."

Leota Kosi Latu said SPREP's priority now is to help member countries ratify the Paris agreement and then help them implement pledges such as reducing emissions.