THE constant issue of climate change and its impact on the Pacific region was a major point of discussion at yesterday's 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas.
And in exploring this issue, the dismissive attitude of larger nations became a point of contention for President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau who said they continued to bicker over why climate change exists, rather than finding solutions.
"Fiji, along with the rest of the region, is deeply concerned and perplexed at the demonstrable lack of resolve on the part of the global community to address the issue of climate change," Ratu Epeli told the participants.
"Nothing we do as Pacific Island developing states to conserve and protect our natural environment can save us if we are eventually swamped by the vast ocean around us."
He said constant arguments by bigger countries over the issue of climate change needed to stop if anything substantial were to be achieved.
"We know that it is happening because of global warming but the world is locked in a seemingly endless debate about why warming is taking place.
"And while they slug it out, the major carbon polluters talk incessantly about the need to put the jobs of their workers first while their factories continue to belch out this rubbish.
"Here in the Pacific, we sit back aghast while this argument rages, the water lapping at our feet," the President remarked.
He called on Pacific Islanders to stand strong and voice their opinions about the need to quit bickering so more could be done to deal with the direct impacts of climate change.