Solomon Islands are one of the first countries, within the Pacific region, to formally launch the Pacific Year of Climate Change.

Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo officially launched the Pacific Year of Climate Change on Monday, stating that the South Pacific regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has this year as the Pacific Year of Climate Change with the slogan, "Our Century's Challenge, Our Pacific Response."

Mr Lilo said that the launch of the Pacific Year of Climate Change 2009 is important, as it will highlight the numerous activities currently undertaken by the Climate Change Division. "With the support of the rest of the hardworking team in my Ministry and with the support of other key stakeholders, we will during the course of the year, make necessary preparations for the upcoming conference in Copenhagen, 15th Conference of the Parties (COP-15) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)."

"Now, as all of us would know Solomon Islands is a Small Island Developing State. We are also a Least Developing Country, LDC. Being small is a disadvantage; we in the Pacific region have to work together to push our common agendas forward in such international forums," said Mr Lilo.

Mr Lilo said that it is important to raise awareness at the international level particularly the "urgent need to support adaptation to and mitigation of climate change in the region, and to reflect these concerns and needs in the outcome documents from the COP-15 in Copenhagen. "