PM Voreqe Bainimarama speaks to delegates at the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Conservation and Protected Areas Taken from/By: FBC News
Report by: Apisalome Coka
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says some or all of the people of Kiribati may have to come to live in Fiji if sea levels continue to rise and the world doesn’t tackle global warming.
Bainimarama made the comment while closing the recent 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Conservation and Protected Areas that was held in Suva.
“Fiji will not turn its back on our neighbors in their hour of need. We accepted the Banaban people when they were forced to leave Ocean Island because of the pressure of phosphate mining there. The British started to move the Banabans to Rabi Island in Fiji in 1945 and there were further migrations in the 1970s and early 80s, after Fiji became independent."
Bainimarama has called on the industrialized nations to act now to finally set the appropriate carbon emission targets to arrest rising global temperatures.
He says the melting of the ice caps and the consequent rise in sea levels threaten the very existence of some of the Small Island Developing States in the region.
“For the record, these are the top ten carbon emitters: China, the United States, the European Union, India, Russia, Japan, Germany, Canada, Iran and the United Kingdom. They are our friends but need to treat us all collectively in a more responsible manner and deal with this crisis. We certainly expect them to shoulder the financial impact that we suffer as Pacific Islanders.”
Fiji will be hosting a high-level meeting in April to discuss such issues.