Fiji’s Great Sea Reef nominated to RAMSAR

Update: 7:58PM PART of the Great Sea Reef (GSR), which spans across four provinces of the country, may soon become a protected site after the Fijian Government approved that it be nominated to the RAMSAR list at yesterday afternoon’s Cabinet sitting.

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance is an inter-governmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

While announcing the RAMSAR nomination on Nukubati Island Resort in Macuata today, Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the GSR was one of the country’s most precious natural resource.

The PM was on Nukubati to launch the International Year of the Reef (IYOR) along with the head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Eric Solheim, and five high ranking officials of the agency.

Also present was Osnat Lubrani, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident, and Fiji’s permanent representative to the UN Ambassador Peter Thomson.

As part of the IYOR launch, Ambassador Thomson dove on the GSR to formally begin his role as champion and advocate of the reef structure, which is the third longest barrier reef in the Southern hemisphere, according to WWF Pacific.

“It is an important day for Fiji to formally launch the IYOR 2018. Thank you for the honour of choosing Fiji to highlight the state of the world’s reefs. It has particular resonance for the Fijian people,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“My Cabinet took an important step to approve the nomination of a significant part of the RAMSAR site ensuring its protection for future generations. I look forward to returning here in the near future to formally launch this initiative.”

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