By Yuna Kang
The Talanoa Dialogue was launched at the COP 23 for the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). The COP23 was held in November of 2017 to discuss the implementation of the Paris Agreement. In that conference, Fiji suggested the Talanoa Dialogue as a way to determine contributions for the implementation of the Paris Agreement and long-term greenhouse gas reduction targets on a national level. The objective of this dialogue is to take stock of the collective efforts and constructive progress towards the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. These goals include to cap the global average temperature increase to below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C.
What does Talanoa mean? Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji and across the Pacific which means to engage in inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue. Fiji is one of the islands of the South Pacific that has been severely damaged by climate change. Recently, the intensity of cyclones and droughts affecting Fiji has been increasing due to El Niño. Climate change poses serious threats to Fiji residents’ rights of living and the economy. So as a presidency of COP23, Fiji strongly urges the world leaders to fulfill their greenhouse gas reduction obligations.
The Talanoa Dialogue’s purpose is to share stories, build empathy and trust between all parties. Every participant puts their efforts in the Talanoa dialogue platform, which results in better decision-making for the collective good. Parties and non-party stakeholders are focusing on the benefits of collective action and the movements the global climate agenda forward.
The Talanoa Dialogue includes three general topics: “Where are we?”, “Where do we want to go?” and “How do we get there?”
Through answering these topics, the parties, stakeholders, and expert institutions can realize what they are doing now for reducing carbon emissions, where they want to go in the future, and what kinds of methods they can use to combat climate change. In the preparatory phase, the various actors submitted the analytical and policy-relevant answers to the three questions to build a strong evidence-based foundation for the political phase. Creating two different phases with the preparatory and political phase leads to promote informed action. The May session and COP24 will hold discussions in conjunction with the summaries from all inputs.
An online platform allows countries, cities, regions, the business sector, investors, and civil society to assess progress made towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Participants can share their strategies to achieving the temperature goal and relevant Sustainable Development Goals. Given the urgency of climate change, promoting multilateral discussion and implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement is critical. Talanoa dialogue is the opened opportunity for communities all over the world.
On March 26th, 2018, there was a webinar discussion to provide further information regarding participation in the Talanoa Dialogue. In the webinar, Ambassador Luke Daunivalu, COP23 Chief Negotiator, explained the concept of the Talonoa Dialogue, how the May session would be held, and encouraged parties to submit their inputs for better decision-making. At the same time, Hon. Inia Seruiratu, one of the government ministers of Fiji, highlighted the non-party need to consider how they could influence on the political level. One of the most important features of the Talanoa Dialogue is that it is collective. For the collective progress, integrate and facilitative efforts from all level is important.
As COP24 in Poland and the implementation of Paris Agreement approaches, the Talanoa Dialogue should serve as a constructive, facilitative and participative dialogue for all involved.