PM: The ocean is our ev­ery­thing

Fiji Sun - - Nation - MAIKA BOLATIKI Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama told the Global Cli­mate Ac­tion Sum­mit just what the ocean meant for a coun­try like ours.

“For Fi­jians, and for all the peo­ple who live in is­land states, the ocean is ev­ery­thing,” Mr Bain­i­marama told the gath­er­ing dur­ing the High-Level Ses­sion on ‘The Ocean-Cli­mate Chal­lenge’ at Moscone Cen­tre, San Fran­cisco, yes­ter­day.

“It en­velops us. It sus­tains us. It de­fines and in­spires us. And it also can threaten us.

“It is our lifeblood and our high­way. It is our play­ground and our vi­tal nat­u­ral re­source. Our Fi­jian flag takes its colour from the blue of our beloved Pa­cific, to which we are in­ti­mately and per­ma­nently bound.” And when we sit fully ex­posed and de­fence­less be­fore Cat­e­gory 5 cy­clones, with no land mass to serve as a brake on the wind, we are frankly petrified, he said.

“All of this is a part of daily life, es­pe­cially if your home is a small is­land,” Mr Bain­i­marama said.

“So you can imag­ine, ladies and gentle­men, that when we see that in some quar­ters there is no sense of ur­gency to solve this cri­sis, we feel be­trayed.

“And yet we are de­ter­mined not just to sur­vive, but to con­quer.

“2018 is the year of Talanoa. All around the world, peo­ple are com­ing to­gether un­der the Pa­cific con­cept of re­spect­ful and blame­less en­gage­ment, to speak hon­estly and openly about their suc­cesses and chal­lenges, to share ideas and so­lu­tions, and to learn from the sto­ries of oth­ers. “This process should make us more ac­count­able and more com­mit­ted, and it should ul­ti­mately help ev­ery na­tion raise its am­bi­tion to re­duce green­house gas emis­sions, as ex­pressed in our Na­tion­ally De­ter­mined Con­tri­bu­tions (NDCs).” Feed­back: maikab@fi­

Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama at the open­ing ple­nary of the Global Cli­mate Ac­tion sum­mit Sausal­ito, Cal­i­for­nia.

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