Stand behind our PM at COP 23, NGO urges students

FOUNDATION for Rural Integrated Enterprise and Development (FRIEND) Fiji associate director Dr Jone Hawea has come out in support of Fiji’s COP 23 role.

While addressing University of Fiji students during the institute’s climate change awareness program, he said youths should become active ambassadors in the fight against climate change.

“If our youths unite and be active ambassadors in the fight against climate, we can ensure that our prime minister is speaking on behalf of say 90 per cent of the population,” he said.

“The population of the country does not matter, the proportion of the population standing behind our prime minister and raising their voices on climate change, is what matters.”

He said Fiji’s COP 23 role offered a unique opportunity for all Fijians to influence international policies regarding climate change adaptation and mitigation.

“And we should take full advantage of it as it would have significant impacts on grassroots levels.

“Now that the Prime Minister, Honourable Frank Bainimarama, has taken the bold step, it means that we now have an opportunity which may not come again, to influence international policies which we know for a fact eventually filters down to our communities.”

He added that work at the grassroots level would not make as much impact if policies did not change.

“If we are going to concentrate a lot on doing things at the ground level and the policies do not evolve, the work would not be so significant.

“At the international arena, we could tell them to change policies that may be affecting us, amend policies to benefit the countries in climate change adaptation and mitigation.”

The student interactive seminar session was the first awareness session hosted by the School of Science and Technology at the university’s Saweni campus.

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