Earth Day Celebration in Suva
Earth Day celebrated in Suva
The French Embassy and European Union organised Earth Day event in Suva in celebration of Earth Day. This year, Earth day coincides with the high level signing of the Paris COP 21 climate agreement at the United Nations in New York.
Environment Minister, Parveen Kumar was the chief guest at the event which was attended by local climate change organisations and supported by the Department of Environment.
French Embassy charge d’Affaires Jules Irrmann acknowledged the pacific islands state leaders role in COp21 negotiations and Fijian government’s lead in ratifying the COP 21 climate agreement ahead of the New York signing at a gathering at Sukuna Park this morning.
“Fiji and the Pacific Islands did a lot in terms of advocacy and leadership, for the success of COP21.
“Showing again their strong leadership, Fiji was the first country in the world to ratify the Paris agreement, followed closely, in the region, by Tuvalu, Nauru.
“The regional leaders confidently relied on a very inclusive French presidency of the COP21 which organised a French-Oceania summit just before COP in order to raise Pacific Island states’ voices ahead of the meeting with a strong partnership with the European Union. Pacific states and the EU where key on the success of the negotiation, especially by leading the High level ambition coalition" Mr Irrmann said.
Minister Parveen Kumar echoed the same sentiments on the significant ratification of the climate change agreement.
“Earth Day reminds us that we are the custodians of the environment and it is on each of us to ensure that the world our children will inherit will be a healthy one.
“This is the reason why Prime Minister Bainimarama launched last year our green growth framework, which puts environmental issues at the heart of every policy, every decision made by government.
“We cannot talk about economic growth and sustainable development and choose to ignore environmental issues and the impacts of climate change, especially in a country were tourism is a key sector for growth.
“It calls for an ambitious goal to plant 7.8 billion trees by Earth Day 2020. 7.8 billion trees, that’s a lot, but this is only one for every person on the planet. The meaning of this initiative is that, we individually can do a lot, at our level,” Mr Kumar said.