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Prince Harry And Meghan In Fiji: Duke Praises Environment Conservation Works

All Fijians should be proud of their largely unspoilt environment, says the Duke of Sussex Prince Harry. While speaking at Colo-i-Suva Forest Park yesterday, Prince Harry welcomed Colo-i-Suva to the
25 Oct 2018 11:35
Prince Harry And Meghan In Fiji: Duke Praises Environment Conservation Works
Prince Harry plants a seedling at Colo-i-Suva Forest Park on October 24, 2018. Photo: Press Association

All Fijians should be proud of their largely unspoilt environment, says the Duke of Sussex Prince Harry.

While speaking at Colo-i-Suva Forest Park yesterday, Prince Harry welcomed Colo-i-Suva to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, his grandmother.

“It’s great to be here today in Colo-i-Suva to visit one of Fiji’s two dedications to The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) and an honour to do so alongside all of you who have contributed to conserving Fiji’s natural environment.

“It’s incredibly encouraging to see how many countries have now signed up to this initiative, in my grandmother’s name, to preserve forests throughout the Commonwealth.

“My hope is that the others will join soon.”

He highlighted that as of last week, 42 out of the 53-member countries were now part of the project with Kiribati being the most recent addition.

“Forests are crucial to the survival of our planet and all Fijians should be proud of your largely unspoilt environment.

However, climate change is having a significant impact on Fiji.

“Just 6 years ago, Fiji’s Vunitogoloa became the first village in the world to begin relocating to higher ground due to sea level rise. Since then, five more villages have been moved.

“In the next 18 months, I have been told 10 more will be relocated and within the next couple of years it is expected that over 40 villages will be displaced.”

Prince Harry said he was impressed by the Fijian understanding of how to work sustainably with its surroundings.

“I’ve heard from local people and companies about how the preservation of the environment helps attract tourists, further contributing to the local economy,” he said.

“All of you depend on this beautiful piece of rainforest in some way.  This delicately balanced ecosystem serves you so well and there is an obligation to protect it for the benefit of the next generation.

“So, I am truly delighted and grateful today to see you celebrating and honouring this extraordinary gift of nature.”

The Duke of Sussex later planted a seedling using a spade used by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 during her visit here.

Up close, the shovel is engraved with the details.

Up close, the shovel is engraved with the details.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) project was launched in 2015.

An appeal was made to all 53-member nations of the Commonwealth to contribute areas of indigenous forest to be preserved in perpetuity to mark her Majesty’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.

There are two QCC sites in Fiji – Colo-i-Suva Forest Park and Emalu Forest, Navosa.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback:  selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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