We present a special double issue of Tiempo to coincide with the Seventh Conference of the Parties which will be held in Marrakech, Morocco, 29th October to the 9th November 2001.

In our main article, Peter Zhou discusses two important underlying issues that must be inherent in the debate if the climate treaty is to have any meaningful success. He analyses the issues of equity and environmental and economic sustainability and contends that they should be a prerequisite in any North-South dialogue.

Kanayathu Koshy reports on an important new educational centre with the aim of capacity building for the South Pacific region. The Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development in Suva, Fiji, will act to improve and strengthen all levels of environmental education and, at the same time, strengthen the awareness and technical capacity of human resources within the region.

Another recent initiative in the South Pacific is part of a new, worldwide ocean observing system. Than Aung describes the unique Argo initiative which aims to improve scientists' knowledge of how the ocean and atmosphere interact. The educational nature of this five-year project is highlighted with the involvement of secondary school students.

John Hay presents a small islands perspective on the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. His article is followed by the second in our series of selected excerpts from the IPCC's 2001 Third Assessment Report, this time covering climate impacts.

Finally, we report on the outcome of the resumed Sixth Conference of the Parties in July 2001, anticipating issues to be discussed in Marrakech, and summarize a recently-released report on the economic impacts of climate change on tuna fisheries for two Pacific nations.