Video clip at the opening of the third PIDF today by Niklas Pedersen.
Report – By Niklas Pedersen in Suva
Fiji Prime Minister Voreque Bainimarama used the first day of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) in Suva to call for further assistance from Australia to fight climate change.
Bainimarama once again used his self-coined term “coalition of the selfish” to describe the policy of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott over climate change.
“Mr Abbott, it’s time to put the welfare and survival of your Pacific Island neighbours before the expansion of your existing coal industry,” Bainimarama said, according to PIDF’s website.
The slogan for this third edition of PIDF is “Building climate resilient green blue Pacific economies” – a subject crucially important to the seven Pacific Island-leaders attending the forum.
“It’s about saving human beings, our children, saving youth and their children’s future,” said Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga of Tuvalu, a country that is projected to be underwater in the next 30-50 years.
The PIDF takes place just 90 days before COP21 in Paris, where the Pacific Islands are hoping to have their voices heard.
“We need a comprehensive but legally blinding agreement to ensure the survival and security of our people,” said Prime Minister Sopoaga, according to PIDF.
Niklas Pedersen and Kai Ping Lew are postgraduate student journalists from AUT University on the Asia-Pacific Journalism course. They are in Fiji on a two-week internship with Repúblika Magazine and Wansolwara and will also file a series of reports for Pacific Scoop about their experience.