Saturday, 23 September 2017

Accelerating Climate Action for a Resilient Fiji



"We should be mindful that we can do all things through God who strengthens us. In our prayers we should integrate messages of environmental stewardship and pray for the success of our COP 23 Presidency."

Presentation by Miss Hibiscus 2017 Candace Veramu at the National Climate Change Week Event held on Saturday September 23 at Ratu Sukuna Park


File photo of Candace


I am indeed honoured to be given this opportunity to make a presentation on the occasion of National Climate Week which began yesterday and will end on Saturday, September 30 when the Prime Minister who is also President of COP 23 will officiate at the closing.



The Prime Minister while addressing the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn in May had outlined a detailed 7 point plan on Fiji’s vision of COP 23. One of the strategies is of great relevance to all Fijians as we develop climate action for a resilient Fiji.



Honorable Bainimarama had told the world community that we will infuse COP 23 with the Fijian “Bula Spirit” of inclusiveness, friendliness and solidarity. This is a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue that builds empathy and leads to decision making for the collective good of the nation and indeed the whole world. It is not about finger pointing and laying blame but it is about listening to each other, learning from each other, sharing stories, skills and experiences. By focusing on the benefits of action, this process will move the global climate agenda forward.


I have taken into account the Bula Spirit of National Climate Week. My interest is in holistic wellness and good health for myself, my family, and the nation. While the technical issues of the Paris Agreement on Carbon Emission Reductions are being negotiated in the UN through COP 23, we the citizens of Fiji can take personal action to reduce our own carbon footprints.



I personally take an interest in planting local organic fruits, vegetables and root crops in our home garden in Wailoku. This is something that we can all do. Our young people can also do this in the afternoons before they go off to play touch rugby or other leisure activities.



We should take action by eating less imported processed foods and consuming more locally grown foods. Eating healthy doesn't just directly impact your own life, it can help inspire those around you as well. Composting, recycling, and keeping Fiji free from litter will help reduce our individual carbon emissions and contribute further to Fiji’s lower carbon footprints.



I notice that footpaths have been constructed in the Suva and Nasinu areas and indeed in many other areas. We can all use these paths to walk or jog in the mornings or after work to keep fit. This will also have the positive effect of reducing incidences of non-communicable diseases which are preventable.



We really have an opportunity when we take control of our lives to positively affect every person around us through our lifestyle choices and decisions. Considering a movement towards greater sustainable living is critical to our future.



We should be mindful that we can do all things through God who strengthens us. In our prayers we should integrate messages of environmental stewardship and pray for the success of our COP 23 Presidency. The key point I wish to leave with you all is that we must take action to reduce our carbon emissions.



As we launch National Climate Week I take this opportunity to acknowledge all those who are working to support our nation’s reduced carbon footprints. Our Prime Minister had stated that "Climate change is about our existence, our survival and saving something for our children and their children." Let us take positive action now so that the Fiji we leave for the children now and in future is a sustainable one.



Thank you very much for your time and patience.

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