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Pacific Islands driven to fight for their homes: PM

September 15, 2018 5:00 am

“Our oceans would still be in trouble even if the world’s climate was not changing”.

Speaking at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, California, COP 23 President Voreqe Bainimarama highlighted the issue of overfishing, pollution and the sheer weight of human exploitation affecting ocean health.

Bainimarama made it clear globally that the Pacific depends on the ocean for survival on a daily basis and cannot afford to lose it.

” As we watch the sea steadily steal our lands and as we foresee wet lands, atolls and barrier islands disappearing beneath the waves, we are driven to fight for our homes. When the coral reefs we love and depend on start dying before our eyes we cannot contain our anger and sadness. When traditional fish stock flee from our waters, we fear for our future.”

Bainimarama says ocean ecology and climate change is closely related that we cannot attempt to solve the crisis of one without confronting the other.

” When we see there’s no sense of urgency to solve this crisis, we feel betrayed and yet we feel determined not just to survive but to fight and conquer. Fiji will take the lead by strengthening our NDC’s to take action on the ocean climate action agenda. And on behalf of the people of the Fiji and all Pacific people, i want to challenge the nations, states, cities and communities to make the make commitment.”

He adds that the focus is now on harnessing the global Talanoa and make it into a political outcome at COP24 in Poland later this year to show that we’re serious about confronting climate change.