Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, Honorable Stanley Festus Sofu (MP) told delegates at the Asia- Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (APMCDRR) that the Solomon Islands is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

He says this is reflected in the country being ranked second in terms of disaster risk by the World Risk Report 2021.

He says despite such a bleak assessment the people of Solomon Islands have lived and thrived on these islands for many years, which is indicative of the resilience people have which should be enhanced with assistance from partners.

He assured the Asia-Pacific region that the Solomon Islands will continue to contextualize the implementation of the Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction through its national disaster management plan, and national and sectoral development programmes, with the leadership of government, and the support from NGOs, the private sector, communities, as well as regional and international partners.

Honorable Sofu called for greater support for countries with greater disposition to disaster risk by availing financial and technological resources to assist in risk reduction including disaster preparedness and comprehensive early warning system to the same or higher level as that for disaster responses.

His call was made against the back drop that global humanitarian assistance is generally made available after a disaster takes place, whereas risk reduction is mostly left to countries and communities to wrestle with.

“Climate change is already impacting our islands and economy. As such, the Solomon Islands and other Pacific countries are in constant mode of recovery from disasters. But the burden of recovery and building back better and stronger following disasters should not inundate our vulnerable economies with debts,” said Honorable Sofu.

The APMCDRR is the regional platform in the Asia-Pacific for cooperation on disaster risk reduction and the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

This year, Australia is partnering with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction to host the conference in Brisbane.