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Earth Day Celebrated In Suva

Earth Day Celebrated In Suva
fijisun.com.fj
April 23
11:39 2016

The French Embassy and European Union organised an Earth Day event in Suva in celebration of Earth Day yesterday.

This year, Earth Day coincides with the high-level signing of the Paris COP 21 climate agreement at the United Nations in New York.

Environment Minister Parveen Kumar was the chief guest at the event which was attended by local climate change organisations and supported by the Department of Environment.

French Embassy charge d’Affaires Jules Irrmann acknowledged the Pacific islands state leaders’ role in the COP 21 negotiations and the Fijian Government’s lead in ratifying the COP 21 climate agreement ahead of the New York signing at the gathering at Ratu Sukuna Park in Suva.

“Fiji and the Pacific Islands did a lot in terms of advocacy and leadership, for the success of COP 21,” Mr Irrmann said.

“Showing again their strong leadership, Fiji was the first country in the world to ratify the Paris Agreement, followed closely, in the region, by Tuvalu and Nauru.

“The regional leaders confidently relied on a very inclusive French presidency of the COP 21 which organised a French-Oceania summit just before the COP in order to raise Pacific island states’ voices ahead of the meeting with a strong partnership with the European Union. Pacific states and the EU were key to the success of the negotiations, especially by leading the High Level Ambition Coalition.”

Minister Parveen Kumar echoed the same sentiments on the significant ratification of the climate change agreement.

“Earth Day reminds us that we are the custodians of the environment and it is on each of us to ensure that the world our children will inherit will be a healthy one,” Mr Kumar said.

“This is the reason why Prime Minister Bainimarama last year launched our Green Growth Framework, which puts environmental issues at the heart of every policy, every decision made by Government.

“We cannot talk about economic growth and sustainable development and choose to ignore environmental issues and the impacts of climate change, especially in a country were tourism is a key sector for growth,” he said.

“It calls for an ambitious goal to plant 7.8 billion trees by Earth Day 2020. That’s a lot, but this is only one tree for every person on the planet. The meaning of this initiative is that, we individually can do a lot, at our level,” Mr Kumar said.

Source: Embassy of France

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