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Eden: Solutions begin with sharing experiences

Lice Movono In Bonn, Germany
Thursday, November 09, 2017

THE solutions for climate change impact for one side of the world can be present in another smaller part of the world and this can become more apparent through sharing that is enabled by Talanoa.

The process of exchanging solutions between the different regions of the world begins with sharing.

This was the message by the Assistant Minister for Local Government, Lorna Eden when she took part in the opening ceremony of the Talanoa Space at the Bonn Zone of COP23.

"Some solutions designed for the coastlines of the Netherlands or New York city might be scaled for use in Fiji or Vanuatu. Initiatives being taken by Fiji or Senegal might spur ideas in Beijing or Sydney," she said.

"These things can spread from one mind in one small community in a remote part of the world and could contain solutions for another part of the world, and it all starts with sharing."

Made completely from recycled material, the Talanoa Space is a pavilion at the zone used for side events at COP23, some 1.4km from the main conference centre.

The Talanoa space, very popular with civil society organisations, contains performance spaces and conversation booths designed to celebrate the Pacific concept of Talanoa or communal conversation.

"We have relatively a lot of land, but as science pushes agricultural to be ever more productive, we face loss of productive," Ms Eden said.

"The reefs, forests and oceans that we depend on for our livelihoods are threatened. But of course climate change knows no boundaries."

Ms Eden joined German government delegates and the youth led non-government organisation, Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) to open the Talanoa space.

She said the catastrophic impacts of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston which hit Fiji in 2016 had sharpened Fiji's appreciation of the increasing intensity of cyclones which are due to climate change.

"When you live through a genuine catastrophe made worse by climate change, you are never again the same," she said.

She said this realisation was not unique to Fiji but was also shared by communities destroyed by wildfire or who were flooded by the melting of glaciers.

Ms Eden said the concept of sharing used in Pacific dialogues could make the experiences of communities which had faced disaster, a source of great strength.

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