Articles: Marshall Islands President Takes Concerns to Fiji Climate Change Conference
President Christopher J. Loeak delivered his keynote address at the Regional Conference on Local Governments for Climate Change at the invitation of the University of the South Pacific. Prior to President Loeak’s keynote address, H.E. Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, President of the Republic of Fiji, officiated and opened the conference. The Honorable Mr. Willy Telavi, Prime Minister of Tuvalu, the High Chief of Samoa, Vaasilifiti Moelangi Jackson, and His Excellency Anote Tong, President of the Republic of Kiribati, will also deliver their keynote addresses on separate sessions of the conference.
In his statement, President Loeak expressed concerns on the slow pace of climate actions and direction of global directions on sustainable development. In reiterating prior calls for urgent actions on climate change at the conference this morning and at other conferences, most recently at the RIO+20 in Brazil, President Loeak said that the Marshall Islands cannot afford to wait for others to act.
Being one of only 4 low-lying atoll nations in the world, the Marshall Islands has already undertaken adaptation work on the ground to address the impact of climate change and has partnered with neighboring countries in Micronesia under the Micronesia Challenge to conserve 30% of its coastal resources and 20% of its forests. Together the Micronesian countries are already making progress to meeting this ambitious goal.
At the community level, President Loeak highlighted some activities and the strong partnership that exists between the national and local governments, civil society organizations, traditional and church leaders and the private sector in the Marshall Islands. Minister Tony deBrum and Mr. Albon Ishoda, joined President Loeak to answer few of the questions raised during the Q&A.
Prior to the conference, President Loeak held bilateral talks with His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, the President of the Republic of Fiji, at the Government House to discuss issues of mutual interest to both countries. President Loeak is expected to meet with Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama for high level talks on the framework cooperation signed last year between the two countries. President Loeak will also take the opportunity to present a check, on behalf of the government and people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, in the amount of USD $5000.00 to support disaster relief efforts of Fiji as a result of the recent flooding which affected the lives of approximately 150,000 people in the western division of Viti Levu.
- RMI Office of the President, July 17, 2012