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Welcome home ceremony

Hans B Boernke, Savusavu
Friday, November 24, 2017

There seems to be some dissatisfaction by some that $35,000 will be spent to welcome the COP23 Fiji delegation back home in accordance with Fijian protocol and tradition.

To me that's a small price to pay considering the benefits Fiji will gain by having done a marvellous job representing the homeland and the whole of the South Pacific.

Never before has it been made so plain to the rest of the world how vulnerable the Pacific Islanders are, experiencing in daily life the effect of climate change.

One major success is already the securing of a $F800 million loan through the European Development Bank to modernise freshwater supply and sewage treatment for the Suva-Nausori corridor alone, a big challenge for Fiji because more people strive to make a living in this already over populated area.

More funding has been lined up for relocation of endangered villages in coastal areas and securing vulnerable coastal land as well.

More will be in the pipeline as it is now the task to collect all the results of COP23 in every detail.

But most of all — Fiji has been placed on the map of the world in a field usually not associated with small island nations — climate change.

Even the tourism industry will benefit from this great event in Bonn because it definitely drew attention to this part of the world as well.

So, in conclusion, I believe one must say this is not the time to be small minded.

This is the a time for recognition and I believe this "welcome home ceremony" is well deserved indeed.

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