From L-R: Mr Peter Hopgood, General Manager Outrigger Resort; Mrs Kelera Taloga, Deputy PS Education; Professor Govinda Lingam; Head of SOED; Hon. Inia Seruiratu, Climate Change Champion; Ms Vathinee Jitjaturunt, UNICEF Pacific Representative; Dr Giulio Paunga, USP's Vice-President Regional Campuses and Dr Mesake Dakuidreketi, USP Deputy Head of SOED.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Education (SOED) was commended for its active involvement in the launching of the school-based climate change disaster resilient project, officiated by Honourable Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Agriculture and global climate change champion.
The launch took place at the Outrigger on the Lagoon Resort on Fiji’s Coral Coast on 29 September, 2017.
Mrs Kelera Taloga, Ministry of Education Deputy Permanent Secretary said Fiji is serious about improving and saving the lives of its people and “every policy implemented or strategy pursued must consider the impact of our changing climate”.
“I must at this juncture acknowledge the partnership established with USP and UNICEF towards this direction. The Ministry of Education is indeed privileged to have secured partnership with regional and international powerhouses in this journey,” she stated.
Mrs Taloga said Fiji’s COP23 Presidency will rally the international community to keep us on course for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement of 2015.
“It is a mission of vital importance to every Fijian, every school and every student. And as we call for all schools to honour their commitments towards combating the issue of climate change, we are also pressing for more radical action to build climate resilience in low-lying and vulnerable areas around Fiji,” she noted.
She added that the launch will further explore how to best achieve resilience in Fiji in the face of the growing threat of climate change.
While launching the project, Hon. Seruiratu said the work we do as global climate change champions is all about fostering that partnership for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
“Our leaders have ratified the Paris Agreement and they have committed to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). It is a fact that we are small in nature but it does not take away the responsibility that we have to share in this as well.
He stressed that the ultimate destination of all efforts on climate change action is sustainable development.
Professor Govinda Lingam, Head of the School of Education said he was glad the School participated in such a worthy project that involved climate change - one of the most pressing issues in the region.
“Climate change is inevitably threatening the very essence of our livelihoods and we in the Pacific are at the forefront of climate change,” he noted.
According to Professor Lingam, it is only right that the School invests in something that involves and ensures a sustainable future for our children.
“I wish to thank the Honourable Minster Seruiratu, UNICEF and our friends from the Ministry of Education for their willingness in supporting this timely project,” he added.
Twelve (12) winners were announced in the poster competition as part of the launch including Naidovi Kindergarten in the Kindergarten category and Nadrala Sangam School in the cleanest school category.
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