The Prime Minister of Fiji, Mr Voreqe Bainimarama, welcomed UNESCO’s support to this year’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP 23), during a meeting with UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, Ms Flavia Schlegel, on 11 April. Fiji will preside COP 23, which will be held in Bonn, Germany in November 2017, with a special emphasis on vulnerable nations, including Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The meeting coincided with the unveiling of the COP 23 logo.
The logo captures the vulnerability of small island developing states to the impacts of climate change, such as sea-level rise and increasing storm intensity. It was unveiled by Prime Minister Bainimarama in the presence of the German State Secretary for Environment, Nature Conservation Building and Nuclear Safety, Mr. Jochen Flasbarth, and the Executive Director of the COP 23 Secretariat, Mr John Connor.
At the meeting, the Prime Minister sought cooperation with UNESCO on raising public awareness on mitigating and adapting to climate change and promoting healthy eco-systems. Flavia Schlegel commended the Prime Minister for his leadership on climate change and for Fiji’s preparatory efforts in the lead-up to COP 23, and she offered full support towards the Fijian Presidency in line with UNESCO’s motto “Changing Minds, not the Climate".
The Assistant Director-General visited several Member States in the Pacific region, including Samoa, the Cook Islands, New Zealand and Fiji. She also visited the National Trust of Fiji and meet Government officials to discuss disaster risk reduction, UNESCO designated sites such as Biosphere Reserves, freshwater management, climate change and traditional knowledge for sustainable development.