NEWS

Australia Contributes After Discussions With Fiji

Australia has contributed AUS$6 million (about F$9.40m) towards blue carbon and finance initiative which was formulated after discussions between Fiji and Australia. Australian Minister for Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg
16 Nov 2017 13:24
Australia Contributes After Discussions With Fiji
From left: Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna, Akaitiiti-o-te-Rangi Puma and Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar at COP23 in Bonn, Germany. Photo: DEPTFO

Australia has contributed AUS$6 million (about F$9.40m) towards blue carbon and finance initiative which was formulated after discussions between Fiji and Australia.

Australian Minister for Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg made the announcement with Attorney-General and leader of the Fijian delegation Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during a panel discussion on the challenge of climate change: The importance of coastal blue carbon ecosystems in the Pacific in Bonn, Germany.

In announcing the Australia-Pacific Blue Carbon Innovative Financing Mechanism, Mr Frydenberg also had to defend Australia’s position on its coal mines.

He said while Australia was standing firmly by its coal mining industry, it was mindful of its obligations on the global scale.

The development of the Australia-Pacific Blue Carbon Innovative Financing Mechanism presents a first of its kind opportunity for governments, communities and business across the Pacific to unite in accelerating the protection of these essential ecosystems, mitigating climate change and working to support our local communities.

“As the first Pacific Island Country to hold the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP Presidency, the Fijian Government is committed to promoting the importance of oceans and coastal ecosystems in the Pacific and their links to climate change solutions,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“We have voiced this commitment for some time, including earlier this year at the Ocean Conference in New York, which was co-hosted by the Governments of Fiji and Sweden,” he said.

“This conference was a game changer – in that it focused on reversing the decline in health of our oceans for people, planet and prosperity.

“A key part of our commitment to Oceans is the focus on the importance of restoring and protecting blue carbon ecosystems.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also highlighted that in Fiji, dogo or mangroves were used to fire funeral pyres and that while steps had been taken to stop the cutting down of mangroves this was still a practice.

He highlighted that to counter the use of dogo; Government was focussed on having more gas crematoriums in Fiji, which will eliminate the need to use dogo.

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

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