NEWS

PM Warns On Food Threat

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says there is one factor threatening our food security over which we have no control whatsoever. He said this was “the increasing frequency and intensity of
09 Jun 2015 10:16
PM Warns On Food Threat

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says there is one factor threatening our food security over which we have no control whatsoever.

He said this was “the increasing frequency and intensity of the natural disasters we are experiencing in the Pacific that are being attributed to climate change.”

He was delivering the country statement yesterday after he received the Achievement Award in Rome from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. He was addressing delegates to the FAO conference.

The award was in recognition for its commitment to one of the UN Millennium Development Goals – to reduce global hunger and develop food security.

He said natural disasters caused by climate change were already having “a grave impact on Fiji and other Pacific Island nations,”

“But we are also facing a terrible collective threat from rising sea levels caused by global warming. And this is already having a serious impact on island nations, with much worse to come.

“In Fiji – a string of mainly mountainous islands – we are already having to move entire villages, are losing precious arable land and have identified more than 600 communities that are directly threatened by the encroaching seas.

“Yet in the case of three of our neighbours – Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands, which are low lying atolls – the threat is existential. And under the current scenarios being advanced by climate scientists, these sovereign members of the United Nations are destined to sink beneath the waves altogether in the lifetimes of their young people.

“The rising seas caused by the melting icecaps constitute the gravest collective threat to Pacific Small Island Developing States in the entire sweep of history. And unless this process is arrested, it is certain to compound the dire consequences extreme weather events are already having on our overall food security and ability to feed our people.

“To focus global attention on this crisis, Fiji intends to play a lead role at the World Climate Summit in Paris at the end of November. And with the other Small Island Developing States, we will be calling for immediate action on the part of the developed nations to sign up to the binding cuts in carbon emissions that are vital to avert catastrophe.

“I have branded those nations that are dragging their feet on climate change as members of the “coalition of the selfish” – nations putting the health of their economies and the jobs of their workers before the very survival of the citizens of Small Island Developing States.

“The time for prevarication is over. The time for action is now. And I appeal to you all and the rest of the international community to join our alternative “coalition for action on climate change”. Because we are at five minutes to midnight on this issue and time is rapidly running out. We have the chance as a community of nations to stop the clock in Paris and start winding it back. And we must seize that opportunity before it is too late.”

 

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

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