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PM at sugar talks

Margaret Wise
Monday, December 04, 2017

THE impact of climate change on sugarcane crops is a common threat for all sugar-producing countries around the world and stakeholders have to work together to address the issue.

This was the message from Prime Minister, Minister for Sugar and COP23 president Voreqe Bainimarama to participants at the International Sugar Organization's 52nd council meeting in London last week.

"We all know that canefarmers are suffering dearly from the prolonged droughts that devastate crop yields, the encroaching sea water that can spoil vast tracts of arable land, and increasingly volatile weather patterns," Mr Bainimarama said.

"Not to mention the threat of extreme weather events that can bring economies to their knees."

The PM added that when he had addressed the ISO a year ago, Fiji was in the middle of a massive rebuilding program in the wake of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston, while at the same time preparing to lead the global campaign against climate change as incoming president of COP23.

"We knew this presidency would be our chance to bring a heightened sense of urgency to the climate negotiations, borne from our experience as a small island developing state on the front lines of climate change.

"Due to my extensive work abroad rallying the global community to support our presidential agenda, I was unable to attend the 51st (ISO) Session in El Salvador this past June.

"But thanks to those efforts, we arrived in Bonn with tremendous backing from the international community.

"And it brings me a great deal of pride to say that our work paid off, and COP23 was welcomed as a great success."

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