Kiribati calls for positive action

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By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu, 22 November 2017

Actions with impact are a critical task of the Climate Change Conference of Parties (C.O.P. 23).

Kiribati President, Beretitenti Taneti Manama made this statement during the Climate Change conference in Bonn, Germany. 

The conference, which brought together more than 4,000 attendees including leaders from all over the world, says the leaders have gone past the stage of debates. 

“What we all agreed in Paris in 2015 is what this global family demonstrated in their various important commitments. 

“Sadly though, we continue to experience and witness the detrimental impacts of climate change, and we cannot afford any longer to wait – actions with impact are a critical task of this C.O.P. 23 to the U.N. Convention on Climate Change (U.N.F.C.C.C.). 

“I want to make it very clear at the outset that my Government has decided to put aside the misleading and pessimistic scenario of a sinking/deserted nation, and has replaced it with a bold scenario filled with great faith in the mighty hand, that made our islands, coupled with our people’s unwavering love for their home land, and great determination to fight and/or adapt to climate change, with the help and support of our international partners and the entire world community. 

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“To this end, my Government is calling on this conference, to recognize the significance of this new policy as a platform for the Kiribati Government’s ambitious 20-year plan or K.V. 20, to build and develop the nation in the face of climate change – that focuses on harnessing our resources on fisheries and tourism. 

“The continued conversation and predictions for Kiribati to sink in future are not only de-empowering but also contradictory to our current efforts to build our islands and transform the lives of our people into a resilient, wealthy, healthy, and secured nation in line with our KV20.” 

He said it was common knowledge climate change was not only about science, but more importantly it was about the people, in terms of their social values, ethics and morals. 

“In his inspiring message, his Holiness, Pope Francis reminded Pacific leaders, and us all, of our shared responsibility, to take good care of mother earth, to keep her safe, and to make sure that we leave behind the same kind of shared home, or even a better one, for our children and those who come after us. 

“I sincerely applaud the Government and people of Germany for their extra pledge of 50 million EUROs (T$150m) to the adaptation fund. 

“The recent announcement of the G.C.F. Simplified Approvals Process (S.A.P.) for small scale projects is greatly appreciated. 

“Kiribati is also committed to integrate the principles of good governance to ensure transparency, efficient and accountable use of these resources, for the effective adaptation interventions and tangible results,” he said. 

Mr. Manama added the big atoll ocean states not only played a critical part in sustainable development and in the daily lives of the people of Kiribati, but also the entire Pacific. 

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By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu, 22 November 2017

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