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UN EXECUTIVE PRAISES BAINIMARAMA LEADERSHIP

United Nations Environment Programme executive director Erik Solheim believes Fiji’s leadership in the COP23 was just the beginning. “The Prime Minister of Fiji headed the country in a fantastic way.
19 Jan 2018 11:00
UN EXECUTIVE PRAISES BAINIMARAMA LEADERSHIP
Prime Minister and COP23 president Voreqe Bainimarama (sixth from left), with Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere (eighth from left), United Nations Special Envoy for Oceans Peter Thomson (front right), and United Nations Environment Programme executive director Erik Solheim (third from left), with district reps from Mali Island, Sasa, Labasa, Wailevu and Nadogo during the global launch of the International Year of the Reef at Nukubati Island in Macuata on January 17, 2018. Photo: Shratika Naidu

United Nations Environment Programme executive director Erik Solheim believes Fiji’s leadership in the COP23 was just the beginning.

“The Prime Minister of Fiji headed the country in a fantastic way. It was exactly the kind of leadership we needed,” Mr Solheim said.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama presided over the COP23 conference in Bonn, Germany, from November 6 to 17 last year.

“Fiji is a small nation yet they led the big nations. The long term effects of coral reefs are in danger and over fishing is also another factor we need to consider,” Mr Solheim said.

Mr Solheim said Fijians needed to protect the country’s resources.

“Developing nations are trying to protect their resources but developed nations are coming and fishing in their areas,” he said.

“Throwing plastics in the ocean is a factor we must also consider as this is killing the marine organism thinking that it is food.

“Ocean is a good opportunity to provide resources and it is our duty to protect them. We must inspire people to work together.”

He urged Fijians to protect the ocean by having a free plastic Pacific Ocean because Fiji has the third longest barrier reef system in the southern hemisphere.

 

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj

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