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CLIMATE CHANGE: Let’s Talanoa, A Space To Discuss, Share At COP23

A Talanoa space has been launched at the Bonn Zone, which has been labelled as a symbol of the great partnership and friendship that has developed between Fiji and Germany by
08 Nov 2017 14:00
CLIMATE CHANGE: Let’s Talanoa, A Space To  Discuss, Share At COP23
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with some of the Fijian delegation’s senior members at the COP23 in Bonn, Germany. Photo: Office of the Attorney-General

Talanoa space has been launched at the Bonn Zone, which has been labelled as a symbol of the great partnership and friendship that has developed between Fiji and Germany by climate champion, Minister for Agriculture, Rural & Maritime Development & National Disaster Management & Meteorological Services Inia Seruiratu.

“COP23 has truly been a joint effort between Fiji, the German Government, the UNFCCC and the City of Bonn,” Mr Seruiratu said.

“From the beginning, our idea for the Talanoa Space was to create an area that would be run by civil society organisations, non-profits, and business groups.

“This is their space—your space. And you have responded to the opportunity. Working together, you have designed a programme that spans the earth in its variety of topics.

“The real strength of the programme, in my view, is that you will hear many different perspectives over the course of the two weeks.

“You will hear about innovative technologies to reduce emissions here in Europe and also hear from Pacific Youths taking climate action in their small island communities. You will discuss climate change and gender perspectives here in the Rhine and also from the Pacific.”

Mr Seruiratu said when people of goodwill come together to listen and share with a common purpose in mind, real progress was possible.

“This is the spirit of Talanoa,” Mr Seruiratu said.

“You may have similar experiences in other countries—open discussions where all persons are welcome to express themselves, give their views, tell stories, share experiences, and most importantly, forge relationships.

“For many Pacific nations, it is an essential part of community, politics and culture.

“Talanoa is not a debate. It is not a legislature. It is a way for all kinds of people to bond in respect and understanding.

“In my role as Climate Champion. I pledge to you that this room will not be an echo chamber.

“Your presence and participation will have real purpose, real impact.

“That is because it is my job to take the ideas that emerge from your discussions to the government negotiators who are attempting to agree on the terms for moving the Paris Agreement forward.

“The agreement must be converted to action, and it is our job—yours and mine—to influence those actions in the best sense of the term.

‘We want to be sure that the experiences, practical solutions, and innovative technologies shared in this room are fuel that powers change.”

But he also had a grave reminder for the people who were present.

“Friends, make no mistake, climate change is the greatest threat humankind has ever faced,” he said.

“Without a truly collective effort, we have no chance of achieving our ambitious target of limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“As our Prime Minister has said before, no-one, no matter how powerful, can solve the climate challenge on their own.”

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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