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The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is pictured with the President of Governors Island Mr Michael Samuelian. PHOTO: DEPTFO
June 06
11:05 2017

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday presented the Champion of Change Award at World Oceans Festival at Governor’s Island, New York to Dr. Wallace J. Nichols.

“I’m also delighted to present this important award to someone who shares my passion and emotional attachment to the health of our oceans.”

According to Prime Minister Bainimarama, Dr Wallace is a scientist, a marine biologist, an explorer and author of the bestselling book: “Blue Mind; The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Underwater Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected and Better at What You Do”.

He said he was delighted to be making a repeat visit to New York and also to Governor’s Island, where he came for a training course with the US Coastguard when he was in the Fijian Navy back in 1981.

“36 years on, this place is full of memories for me.”

He said he wanted to say how much he valued the great friendship between America and Fiji and especially the great friendship between Fijians and New Yorkers.

“We have a great deal in common as people who are vulnerable to the effects of climate change – not only rising sea levels but extreme weather events that have cost the lives of our loved ones, along with a great deal of economic pain.”

He said the United States of America had Hurricane Sandy in 2012. “We had Cyclone Winston last year. And it has bound us together as a people – Fijians and New Yorkers – in our determination to work with the rest of the world to tackle the threat of climate change.”

As incoming President of COP23 and also co-host of the UN Oceans Conference this week, he thanked the Mayor and people of New York for standing shoulder to shoulder with Fiji on this issue.

In fact he said it affected every person on earth, just as the health of our oceans and seas was critical to every human being and is why we they were all gathered there.




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