NATION

Rapporteur Lauds Fiji’s Powerful Voice On Climate Change

United Nations Special Rap­porteur David R. Boyd says Fiji has been one of the world’s most powerful voices in calling for urgent action to ad­dress the terrible toll that climate
18 Dec 2018 13:03
Rapporteur Lauds Fiji’s Powerful Voice On Climate Change
United Nations Rapporteur David R. Boyd.

United Nations Special Rap­porteur David R. Boyd says Fiji has been one of the world’s most powerful voices in calling for urgent action to ad­dress the terrible toll that climate change is inflicting on human health, human rights and well-being.

Mr Boyd, who made the statement at a press conference yesterday at the United Nations Development Programme office (UNDP) in Kada­vu House, was appointed as United Nations Special Rapporteur on hu­man rights and the environment by the UN Human Rights Council that started on August 1, 2018. His mis­sion started on December 7, 2018 and ended yesterday.

He also commended the Govern­ment for adopting measures to counter climate change.

“Fiji has adopted a number of im­portant measures including a quo­ta on albacore tuna, a ban on shark-finning, and a ban on harvesting sea cucumbers,” Mr Boyd said.

“As well, Fiji has formed partner­ship with nations including New Zealand and the United States in an effort to tackle the problem of illegal, unreported and unregu­lated fishing in its huge Exclusive Economic Zone.

“Fiji has a relatively good set of environment laws and policies, led by the acknowledgment in the 2013 Constitution, of every per­son’s right to a clean and healthy environment, including the right to have the natural world protected for the benefit of present and fu­ture generations.”

Actions taken include the En­vironment and Climate Adapta­tion Levy, investments in and tax breaks for new sources of renewa­ble energy, a solar homes program, a Green Bond that raises $100 mil­lion FJD, incentives for the pur­chase of fuel efficient vehicles, and improved fuel standards for diesel and gasoline.

However, while travelling to Fiji, Mr Boyd said he was disturbed to see the country’s natural beauty tarnished by surprisingly high lev­els of littering, dumping, and burn­ing of garbage.

He said Fijians were increasingly concerned about the impact of plastic on the environment, par­ticularly on the ocean.

“Hundreds of wildlife species, from whales and seabirds to crabs and turtles, are harmed by ingest­ing plastic or becoming entangled in it. Plastic is particularly prob­lematic in Fiji because of the inad­equate waste management services leading burning of garbage,” he said.

“All this causes pollution of air, water, and soil and also creates risks to health.”

Mr Boyd also said rapid urbani­sation was leading to increased demand for housing and other services, especially in the greater Suva area.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: swashna.chand@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: