FIJI NEWS

Delegates gather for climate conference

Source: MINISTRY OF INFORMATION Delegates from around the Pacific are gathering in Fiji for the Ninth Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, which begins in Suva on
29 Nov 2013 14:05

Source: MINISTRY OF INFORMATION

Delegates from around the Pacific are gathering in Fiji for the Ninth Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, which begins in Suva on Monday.

Up to 800 delegates will be attending the week-long conference at the Vodafone Arena, with 450 delegates already registered from overseas.

Fiji formally assumes the position of Chair from Papua New Guinea at a handover ceremony when the discussions begin on Monday.

The Conference will be officially opened by the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, and formally closed next Friday by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

Among those attending are the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Henry Puna, cabinet ministers from other Pacific countries and representatives of Non Government Organisations and civil society groups from throughout the region.

Keynote speakers include the Cook Islands leader and the world renowned Australian scientist and climate change expert, Dr Tim Flannery, who heads the Australian Climate Council.

The conference has been described as a “watershed moment” for Fiji in its attempt to get global action on climate change, which is threatening the existence of some Pacific Small Island Developing States.

The Regional Director of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Taholo Kami, said that by assuming the role of Chair of the 9th Conference, Fiji was in a strong position to shape a joint Pacific response to get the world community to act.

“The message we need to send to our bigger neighbours and the world at large is ‘don’t just give us aid’ but please stand shoulder to shoulder with us in the fight for our survival”, he said.

The last regional Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas – the 8th– was held in Papua New Guinea in 2007.

World-renowned Australian scientist and climate change expert Dr Tim Flannery will be one of the keynote speakers at the conference which starts on Monday in Suva.



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