NICOLETTE CHAMBERS, Fiji Times
FIJI will be continuing its lead in the Pacific campaign in addressing the impact of climate change and will also use its leadership position to advance climate talks on the international stage.
This was mentioned by Fiji’s Head of Mission to the European Union and COP23 Climate Envoy to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Ambassador Deo Saran at a conference in Hanover, Germany, on Climate Change Adaptation in Small Islands Developing States.
He also highlighted on the vulnerability of Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) saying that “these extreme weather patterns impede economic development, hamper residents’ ability to access clean water, and destroy the soil that nations rely on for agriculture and fundamental food security”.
“As the region of the world that is destined to bear the worst brunt of the effects of climate change, we have been given a crucial platform to put, not just Fiji’s case, but also that of other small islands developing states that are impacted by climate change,” Mr Saran said.
“Pacific islands leaders meeting at the Pacific Islands Development Forum summit in 2015 issued the Suva Declaration, a call to the world to take firmer action on climate change.
“Fiji has a Green Growth Plan and has aggressively pursued and implemented policies to promote sustainable development in the country, all while partnering with the private sector and international organisations to elevate the issue on the global stage.”
Associate Professor at the University of the South Pacific (USP) Dr Joeli Veitayaki who was also present at the event said that while the human, social, environmental and economic costs of inaction or insufficient action were unacceptable, the Pacific Island states were moving forward with plans aimed at adapting and creating greater resilience to climate change.