Sunday, December 1, 2013

Fiji President calls for 'new culture' of conservation

By Wati Talebula  Journalism student from Fiji National University
2 December 2013, Suva, Fiji - Fiji's President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau believes the Pacific needs to bring ordinary people into its conservation efforts to overcome "the culture of the throwaway package”

“For too long, Pacific peoples have embraced one of the worst facets of western consumerism - the culture of the throwaway package," Ratu Epeli said.
“It is high time for the world to put aside the differences and embrace the binding targets to dramatically reduce carbon emissions. At the very least, it is the prudent thing to do.”

The President also shared Fiji’s hopes to see that "grand coalition" broadened and strengthened to include more representatives of the corporate sector. He urged everyone to put away their differences and work together.
Ratu Epeli told delegates gathered for the opening of the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas in Suva on December 2, 2013 there was a need for a revolution in personal attitudes.

“Our villages, towns and cities are strewn with litter, our beaches with plastic bottles and plastic bags, and other non-biodegradable containers of every kind,” Ratu Epeli said.
"We can blame the manufacturers for packaging their products in these containers in the first place. But the responsibility for disposing of them properly is solely our own – all of us.
"We need to inculcate a new culture in the Pacific, one of personal commitment to conservation and sustainable development and the daily observance of it in all our lives. Do not use our pristine environment as a rubbish dump."
Ratu Epeli reminded the participants of the uniqueness of the Pacific Islands' common identity and challenged them to make the most of it.
The five-yearly regional conservation conference brings together government representatives, NGOs, development partners, international organisations and individual communities from through the Pacific.
“We are convinced that only through an effective public and private partnership as well as a holistic approach to conservation, can we tackle the complex challenges now before us,” Ratu Epeli said.

Wati Talebula is a first year student at Fiji National University and a member of the Media Team providing coverage of the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas from 2 to 6 December in Suva, Fiji. This is a partnership between the Fiji National University (FNU), University of the South Pacific (USP), SPREP and Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) whereby a team of 10 journalism students are mentored by senior reporters as they cover the conference. This activity is funded by the Pacific Assistance Media Scheme (PACMAS).

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