Attorney-General and Minister for Environment Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s Remarks before Presenting 10 Key Action Items for Nature Conservation at the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas

Bula vinaka and welcome to this special session where we will present the ten key actions that have been developed with input from High Level meeting of leaders from Government, the private sector and civil society yesterday.

As explained in the preamble, these actions are proposed as the ten overriding key actions that must be undertaken by Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) and partners if we are to deliver our conservation commitments by 2020.

Once adopted, they will form an integral part of the Action Strategy for nature conservation in the Pacific region for the next five years and beyond.

But before I begin presenting the key actions, which I’ll give you time to red now, I would like to take this opportunity to once again express Fiji’s firm commitment to furthering the cause of responsible environmental management in the Pacific.

As the recently appointed chair of this Conference, Fiji will ensure that the emphasis is placed firmly on action. We’re not interested in simply making grand pronouncements that are not achievable or are never implemented.

In fact, it gives me great pleasure to announce this morning that Fiji has offered to host a more focused high level meeting consisting of representatives from government, business, and civil society by no later than April next year to follow-up on these key action points that have been produced by this Conference.

We propose that this will be a gathering where we will seek firm commitments from individuals, organisations and governments about how they plan to action the outcomes of this Conference before they sign the 2014-2020 Action Strategy.

We want this gathering to reflect the Bainimarama Government’s belief – shared by many of our Pacific neighbours – that we need to adopt an inclusive approach to climate change and environmental preservation. This is what His Excellency the President of Fiji meant when he called for a “Grand Coalition.”

We want all stakeholders to have a seat at the table, including NGOs, the corporate sector, development partners, international organizations and individual communities from throughout the Pacific.

Indeed, such an approach served as one of the founding principles of the Pacific Islands Development Forum, the new regional body based in Suva tasked with finding practical, affordable and sustainable solutions to sustainable development.

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is now my pleasure to present the ten key actions:

[List of ten key actions.]

Ladies and Gentlemen, each of these is important in its own right. But without action, it is merely a list of aspirations, nothing more.

I ask that you that you take the next few months to seriously consider these points and how they might fit into your existing efforts before returning to Fiji in the new year, ready to make firm commitments.

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