USP student set for COP 23

A SECOND-YEAR journalism student at the University of the South Pacific is among 10 journalists from the Pacific region selected to cover the United Nations 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23) in Germany later this year.

Mereoni Mili, 21, is a full-time student majoring in journalism and sociology and writing about climate change was an area of her interest.

“Climate change is an issue I feel strongly about, not only because of its vulnerability in the Pacific but it is personal,” she said.

“For the past two years I have seen and felt the first-hand effects of climate change at my grandfather’s village in Nabitu, Tailevu, where I am living and how it has affected the livelihood of 75 families.”

Ms Mili said this opportunity would allow her to develop her journalistic skills and it would be very helpful in her future career.

She said she was looking forward to creating a network and socialising with other journalists from the Pacific and around the world.

Furthermore, she said journalism was a platform she could use to address the impacts of climate change.

The 10 journalists from the region were chosen to be part of COP 23 after a journalism competition where they were required to submit articles for the selection process.

According to UNCCC, the winners of the competition would participate in the conference, receive media training at the prestigious DW Akademie and access to UN and other experts.

The competition was funded by the German Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the winners were announced late last week.

Three of the journalists are from Fiji, three from Solomon Islands and one each from Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga.

The Fiji Times senior online journalist Lice Movono is one of the three selected from Fiji.

Most of them are from print and online media while a few are from radio and television.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is the incoming president of COP 23, which will be held in Bonn from November 6 to 17.

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