Third Pacific Ocean Climate Change Conference to be delivered online

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington and the National University of Samoa (NUS) are working with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Government of Samoa to convene the online Conference.


After two successful Pacific Change Conferences in 2016 and 2018 hosted by the University in Wellington, the third conference was to take place at the National University of Samoa in May this year but due to COVID-19, it will now be fully online with a ticket price of just NZD$25.

“This year’s theme is ‘Blue Pacific, Climate Action for Climate Resilience’,” says Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban from Wellington’s University. “We are looking forward to exploring the science, the impacts, the solutions, and the enablers of climate resilience at this important conference.”

Keynote speaker Professor James Renwick, Head of School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at Wellington’s University, adds, “We have seen over the past two years a heightened awareness among young people in particular of climate change, and we are inspired by innovative ways to improve resilience from a range of voices, which we will hear from at this year’s inclusive online conference.”

Among the drawcard speakers for the three-day event is Tuifuisa’a Dr Patila Amosa, Dean of Science at NUS. She will give a keynote talk about the invisible climate change threat of ocean acidification. Dr Amosa’s research focuses on the chemical and microbiological health of water resources in Samoa, as well as marine biogeochemistry. She leads ocean acidification research at NUS, and is a leading proponent of getting more Pasifika females into science research.

Another keynote speaker, Leota Kosi Latu, Director General of SPREP, is an expert in law of the sea and international environmental law, and SPREP’s focus is on climate change resilience, island and ocean ecosystems, waste management and pollution control, and environmental monitoring and governance.

“The range of Pacific stories shared at this conference should empower us all to do more for both ocean, and climate, action,” says Mr Latu. “Our ocean is our greatest resource, and climate change is our greatest threat to our Pacific region, this conference is providing  space for us as the Blue Pacific to continue amplifying our Pacific realities in this time of COVID-19.”

Other keynote speakers on the sub-themes of science, people and oceans include Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and Assistant Director-General of UNESCO Dr Vladimir Ryabinin, and Marshallese poet and speaker Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner. The conference includes over 100 presenters, and the price of registering has been kept as low as possible to ensure broad access to the event.

View the conference programme online and register to attend now.