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India contributes FJD$ 2.02 million towards Fiji's COP23 presidency

Fijian Prime Minister and Incoming COP23 President Frank Bainimarama Monday received a cheque donation of  FJD$2.02 million (US$1 million) from the Indian Government in support of Fiji’s Presidency of the United Nations ongoing climate negotiations, COP 23.

The Prime Minister received the cheque from the Indian High Commissioner to Fiji, Vishvas Sapkal, at a ceremony in Suva.

The Prime Minister thanked the Indian Government for the assistance, which he said would go directly towards Fiji’s extensive preparations for COP23, to be held in Bonn, Germany in November.

“We are deeply grateful for this support from the Indian Government as Fiji looks to defend the multilateral consensus achieved under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to reduce carbon emissions. COP23 is shaping up to be one of the most important COPs yet, given the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. And we are very glad to see the global community be galvanised into action in support of the Fijian Presidency,” he said.

High Commissioner Sapkal said India stood in solidarity with Fiji and other Pacific Island Countries to highlight the effects of climate change on vulnerable island countries.

Meanwhile, Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management and Fiji’s COP 23 High-Level Climate Champion, Inia Seruiratu will be visiting Australia from June 19-24, 2017 to discuss agriculture, disaster and climate change related issues with his Australian counterparts.

Minister Seruiratu will commence his visit with a roundtable meeting in Canberra to discuss issues on agriculture.

In this meeting, he will meet officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR), Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Australian National University. Following discussions on disaster management, Minister Seruiratu will tour the DFAT Crisis Centre, Attorney-General’s Department, Emergency Management Australia, Geoscience Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology.

Minister Seruiratu will also meet with Australian Member of Parliament, Keith Pitt, Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment and Senator for South Australia, Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources at the Parliament House in Canberra.

On Thursday June 22, Minister Seruiratu will be visiting the Bundaberg Research Farm to witness the use of techniques to improve resilience of fruit trees to natural disasters and will be in Brisbane on Friday, June 23 to meet with Lynne Turner, General Manager, Strategic Policy and Planning at the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Queensland) and Bill Byrne MP, Queensland Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Economic Development.

While in Brisbane, the Agriculture Minister will visit the University of Queensland to meet with the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences. The visit includes a tour to the Queensland Disaster Response Centre.

Minister Seruiratu has also acknowledged the Australian Government for facilitating the visit. The visit is an opportunity to create awareness and pursue support for mitigation and adaptive actions in response to climate change.
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