Climate Change

Climate Change and the Pacific Ocean

March 10, 2020

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA) held the International Conference on Climate Change and Fragility in the Asia-Pacific Region 2019 on the internet in November 2019. It was originally scheduled to be held at the Pacifico Yokohama in Yokohama, Japan, on October 12th 2019, but cancelled due to the Typhoon Hagibis.

The theme of this year's Conference is Climate Change and Ocean. A variety of the participants shared the latest information regarding climate change and the Pacific Ocean.

1. Background

Climate change is considered as one of the most serious challenges that pose threats to global security and economic prosperity. In light of this, MOFA organized a roundtable seminar on climate change and fragility implications on international security in January 2017 which was followed by several review meetings. One of the actions proposed by the seminar and follow-up meetings was: study and discuss climate change and fragility in Asia and Pacific region. In July 2018, MOFA also held the International Conference on Climate Change and Fragility in the Asia-Pacific Region: Interlinkage among Science, Regional Studies and Business from the Perspective of Long-term Climate Risks in Tokyo.

Considering that ocean plays a key role in climate change issues, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) in late September 2019, MOFA decided to uphold ocean as the theme of this year's Conference.

2. Overview of the Conference

Date and times:
November 2019 (see the note below)
(Internet conference)
around 130 from central and local governments, international organizations, agencies and institutes concerned, science society, private sectors, NGOs and general public had registered to join before the cancellation
Working language:
English (no interpretation service available)
MOFA announced the cancellation of the Conference (due to the Typhoon Hagibis) on October 10th. With the cooperation of the Panellists, the presentation videos were offered to the other Panellists and about 130 people who had registered in advance for a certain period of time, and a panel discussion was held on the internet in three separate sessions. The list of the Panellists and the details of the meetings are given below.

Session 1: Pacific Ocean affected by Climate Change (the panel discussion was held during 02:00 – 03:00 UTC on November 13th)

Keynote Presentation
  • Prof. Nathan BINDOFF, Professor of Physical Oceanography, Oceans and Cryosphere Program, Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania
Other Panellists
  • Dr. Landrico U. DALIDA, Jr., Deputy Administrator for Operations & Services, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)(Note1)
  • Prof. ITO Shin-ichi, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, the University of Tokyo
  • Prof. MORI Nobuhito, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University
  • Dr. HARADA Naomi, Director, Earth Surface System Research Center, Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)

Session 2: Climate Actions in Sea Areas (the panel discussion was held during 05:00 – 06:00 UTC on November 15th)

  • Mr. Triyono, Head, Research of Mitigation, Adaptation and Conservation Division, Center for Marine Research, Marine and Fisheries Research and Human Resources Development Agency of Indonesia(Note1)
  • Dr. Michael L.S. ABUNDO, Managing Director, OceanPixel Pte Ltd
  • Ms. Alexandra GAMBOA, Manager of Government Initiatives, Rare
  • Mr. IMAI Shin, Director, International Environment Office, Maritime Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Japan(Note2)
  • Mr. KITAGAWA Kazuyuki, Section Chief, Renewable Energy Promotion Section, Goto City Hall
    and Ms. TADA Juri, Town Creating Section, Goto City Hall
  • Ms. OGAWA Masako, JICA Expert (Chief Advisor), the Project for Capacity Building on Climate Resilience in the Pacific

Session 3: International Cooperation to support Climate Actions (the panel discussion was held during 10:30 – 11:30 UTC on November 21st)

  • Dr. Ania GROBICKI, Deputy Director for Adaptation, Division of Mitigation and Adaptation, Green Climate Fund (GCF)(Note1)
  • Mr. MACHIBA Tomoo, Deputy Director, Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN)
  • Mr. Russell F. SMITH III, Director, the Ocean Foundation
  • Mr. MORITA Takahiro, Senior Deputy Director General / Group Director for Forestry and Nature Conservation, Global Environment Department, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
  • Mr. MIZUNO Osamu,, Principal Fellow, Institute for Global Environment Strategies (IGES)
  • (Note1): absent from the panel discussion
  • (Note2): alternative persons attended the panel discussion

3. Summary Report

The Panellists shared their latest scientific knowledge on climate change impacts on the Pacific Ocean, information on their ocean-based renewable energy activities and their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emission from maritime sector, their views on international cooperation, etc. with other Panellists and the attendance. During the panel discussions, they mentioned various views such as individual actions are essential to beat climate change and cooperation among neighboring sectors/nations may make projects more efficient and effective.

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