Skip navigation

Climate change and Pacific sovereignty forums

The challenges of climate change to the very sovereignty of Pacific atoll nations is the topic of a series of consultations jointly organised by Friends of the Earth's Climate Frontlines project and the climate change network of the Pacific Islands Council of QLD (PICQ).

The first of two webinars on the topics was held on Monday 19th October, featuring four Pacific Islanders taking leading roles in efforts by Pacific Island nations to respond to the escalating challenges of climate change.

It was clear from the presentations that Pacific peoples are determined to use every means possible to retain their sovereign identity.

Among other things, this will entail:

  • a revision of the current international definition of sovereignty – a Coalition of Atoll Nations is planning for ways to gain proper recognition for the human rights impacts of climate change, including cultural and social rights;
  • the permanent establishment of current Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) baselines under the Law of the Sea;
  • a new international convention on the protection of the rights of people impacted by climate change.

Also being mooted is the eventual creation of a single Pacific Island territory, a united “Blue Pacific” continent, as a collective way of enabling individual countries to maintain their sovereignty.

The second forum, held on 9th November, taps into civil society perspectives, with some comment as well from an academic context.

Keep tuned for a major event in 2021 to bring together the insights from the forums and open the way for new legal frameworks and other protections of sovereign rights under threat by climate change.

View the first online conference.

View the second online conference.


Whilst you are here, please make a tax deductible donation. Friends of the Earth relies on donations from people like you to keep running campaigns for social and environmental justice.