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Samoan negotiator at U.N. Climate meet

DOHA — Samoa has a hidden gem in Anne Rasmussen of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

She is occupying a seat at the head table at the UN Climate negotiations in Doha this week having been requested to be a co-chair based upon eight years of experience working for the Government of Samoa and four years in the UN climate negotiations.

More precisely, Anne will be working with her co-chair from Japan to chair agenda items 4a and c under the Subsidiary Body of Implementation, drawing upon her climate change experience at both the international and national level.

"I first attended the negotiations to support the Samoa delegation, it wasn't until two years ago that I took that step towards a more active role in the negotiations with the National Communications,” she said.

“I have also negotiated on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States and when it comes to work in Samoa, a large focus for me has been the development of the Second National Communications and carrying out the National Adaptation Program of Action."

The National Communication is a report to be tabled to the United Nations Framework to the Convention on Climate Change it is an obligation as a party under the UNFCCC.

It provides a national update on all the work done in country to address the issue of climate change, ranging from the vulnerability and adaptation assessment, greenhouse gas inventory, the capacity building and public awareness.

Samoa has tabled its second national communication and is now working towards raising funds to produce the third national communication report, a nationwide consultative process.

"It's a useful planning tool for the country."

Anne Rasmussen is a friendly face at the UN Climate Change negotiations.

She's a breath of fresh Pacific air at this international conference that is weighed down by a 'cloak and dagger' atmosphere with different huddles and closed meetings taking place. Behind most of the closed doors here, many are negotiating an international agreement that centers on billions of dollars, lowering the levels of greenhouse gases and survival for small islands.

This young woman from Samoa has spent time in the thick of the negotiations, despite being overwhelmed and intimidated she has had to work up the courage every time she has made interventions and spoken on behalf of her island home in a room with thousands of people.