1. FIJI OPENS CONSULATE GENERAL IN SHANGHAI – Another milestone achievement was reached by the Fijian Government with the opening of the newest Consulate General Office in Shanghai.
2. MAJOR FOUR-LANE ROAD PROJECT FOR NADI ANNOUNCED – The Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) today announced that Higgins (Fiji) Limited had been awarded the Nadi N2 Road Upgrading Project that will see a significant improvement to a total of 6kms of road in Nadi in two years’ time.
3. PARTICIPANTS URGED TO PLAN WAYS OF MITIGATING CLIMATE CHANGE IN OUR COMMUNITIES – Participants attending a workshop on climate change have been urged to focus on ways to address the increasing costs as a result of climate change.
4. SCOUTS CELEBRATE NATIONAL AND CENTENNIAL JAMBOREE – More than 1300 young scouts from all over Fiji were today reminded to practice good values and behaviour learnt during scouting to become better citizens of the country.
5. GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO PROTECTING PEOPLE AFFECTED BY CLIMATE CHANGE – Climate change is already a reality in Fiji and Government is committed to providing protection and assistance to people at risk of climate change.
6. NEW DIALYSIS CENTRE TO BENEFIT PEOPLE IN THE NORTH – Patients in the Northern Division will now benefit from the services of a new Dialysis Centre located at the Labasa Hospital.
1. FIJI OPENS CONSULATE GENERAL IN SHANGHAI
Another milestone achievement was reached by the Fijian Government with the opening of the newest Consulate General Office in Shanghai.
The opening, which was officiated by His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, symbolizes the forging of closer ties between Fiji and China who have both enjoyed almost 40 years of bilateral relations.
“The opening of the Fiji Consulate in Shanghai is an exciting development which I firmly believe will serve as a strong platform from which to launch a reinvigorated Fiji-Sino economic relation to even greater heights,” Ratu Epeli said.
Ratu Epeli informed invited guests and Fiji residents present that the opening of the office comes after successful talks between the Fijian Government and the President of the Peoples Republic of China H.E Mr Xi Jinping.
“Our meeting summarily focused on the importance of deepening our bilateral relations now and into the future,” Ratu Epeli said.
During bilateral discussions held with China’s top government official President Xi Jinping, Ratu Epeli also reaffirmed the Fijian Governments commitment towards the “One China Policy,” as a cornerstone of more than 30 years of bilateral relations in addition to ‘Fiji’s Look North Policy.’
“The Look North Policy has been the pillar of Fiji’s foreign policy that recognizes the merits of our shared principles of non-interference in each other’s domestic affairs, respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the promotion of peace and security.”
He added that the shared principles coupled with the opening of the Shanghai Consulate General Office lays the foundation for strengthened economic relations between the two nations.
“Fiji is confident that its bilateral trade in both goods and services and the sourcing of investments with China will continue to uncover new grounds and consolidate existing ones, as we try to narrow the current gap in our terms of trade and investment flows,” Ratu Epeli added.
The Fiji Consulate Office is headed by Consular General Neumi Leweni and staff members from both the Fiji Embassy in Beijing and Shanghai.
2. MAJOR FOUR-LANE ROAD PROJECT FOR NADI ANNOUNCED
The Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) today announced that Higgins (Fiji) Limited had been awarded the Nadi N2 Road Upgrading Project that will see a significant improvement to a total of 6kms of road in Nadi in two years’ time.
Making the announcement, interim chairman for FRA and Public Service Commission permanent secretary, Parmesh Chand said that the value of the contract was $65.9 million.
“The project is part of the Nadi and Suva Road Upgrading Programme that the Government had approved in 2012 considering the many benefits it will provide to the country,” Mr Chand said.
“The intent of the Nadi and Suva Road Upgrading Programme is to improve the international gateways to Fiji.
“The upgraded roads will become an attractive welcome to both the local communities and the tourists.”
Mr Chand added that the completion of this programme will bring added benefits such as reduced travel times and congestion for our road users.
“The improvements apart from the extended road width will include better pedestrian footpaths, improved street lighting, and upgraded transport service facilities like new bus stops that will improve the traffic flows providing relief to the bottleneck experience that travellers in the area are enduring daily in both Nadi and Suva,” Mr Chand said.
The contract award represents major road widening along Queens Road from Naisoso Junction to Wailoaloa Junction.
3. PARTICIPANTS URGED TO PLAN WAYS OF MITIGATING CLIMATE CHANGE IN OUR COMMUNITIES
Participants attending a workshop on climate change have been urged to focus on ways to address the increasing costs as a result of climate change.
This was relayed by the Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities Timoci Natuva at the opening of the National Platform for Disaster Risk management and Climate Change workshop held at Novotel in Lami this morning.
“With this revelation we have challenge on our hand and a lot of work to do. We must promote inclusive and integrated approach within government sectors also outside,” Mr Natuva said.
“We must improve our networking at all levels and we must align ourselves to the aspirations of Government that are drawn and aligned to our regional and international mandates,” he added.
For the past 30 years, Fiji amongst all Pacific Island countries topped the highest cost of damages and losses from disasters amounting to more than $1.2billion.
Mr Natuva highlighted that the theme “Reducing Disaster Risk and Climate Change Vulnerability through resilient development” provides the challenge for participants to discuss and recommendations for the next four days.
“Sustainable development cannot be achieved if disaster risk and climate change issues are not addressed appropriately,” Mr Natuva said.
European Union ambassador to the Pacific Andrew Jacobs commended Government for it’s initiatives towards the Green Growth Framework.
“We need to address prevention measures towards climate change because it is not costly. Preparedness plans ensure how well we can address climate change at national and community level,” Mr Jacobs said.
“The European Union has allocated funding of $3.4million to assist in efforts of mitigating climate change and have given state of the art equipment’s for trekking and analyzing climate change patterns in the country,” he added.
Mr Jacobs said the funding will be handled by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community through the ACP EU resilience towards climate change program.
Meanwhile, representing the women’s organizations, Adi Finanu Tabakaucoro commended Government’s efforts in organizing such workshops to address climate change disaster risk management.
“Women are always the ones affected especially during disasters and we are thankful that women are part of this workshop as it helps us understand disasters and how can mitigate adverse climate change effects,” Ms Tabakaucoro said.
During the four day workshop participants from the various divisions have been encouraged to share ideas to address climate change at all levels.
4. SCOUTS CELEBRATE NATIONAL AND CENTENNIAL JAMBOREE
More than 1300 young scouts from all over Fiji were today reminded to practice good values and behaviour learnt during scouting to become better citizens of the country.
Minister for Youth and Sports, Viliame Naupoto opened the 12th Fiji National Scouts Jamboree and Fiji Centennial Jamboree at Queen Victoria School (QVS) and said the celebration of the 100th anniversary of scouting movement here is a significant milestone.
As one of the oldest youth movements in Fiji, the Fiji Scouts Association currently has more than 8000 members, including 482 female scouts.
Minister Naupoto said jamborees are wonderful opportunities for all scouts and leaders to come together and participate in the activities, learn new skills and make new friends.
“The scout movements is very much part and parcel of my Ministry’s youth empowerment and development agenda because the Scouts Organisation is an integral partner that helps its members build character and leadership,” Mr Naupoto said.
“Its self-education programme encourages individuals to be actively involved in and be responsible for their own development as a self-reliant, supportive, responsible and committed person.”
Mr Naupoto stressed that these are the desired outcomes that they want to see every youth embrace in the new and united Fiji.
“Scouting encourages the holistic physical, mental, spiritual and social development of youth with a strong emphasis on duty to country and helping each other. These values and practices have moulded scouts to contribute to world peace and racial harmony, and build positive interpersonal relationships,” Mr Naupoto said.
More than 60 Australian scouts are also in the country to participate in the 5-day event in Tailevu.
Contingent leader of the Australian Scouts to Fiji, Phil Cornish said the 66 scouts, including 30 girl scouts, are looking forward to participating in community-based activities during their stay here.
“We have come to learn about Fijian culture and Fijian life in scouting. We have been here for two days now and it has grown to more of having fun with the Fijians as well. We are expecting our children to learn a lot more about developing friendship and relationships with each other as scouts,” Mr Cornish said.
“Our group has been separated into patrols that are based in various sub-camps and they will be doing all the activities that Fijian scouts will be doing. They will later in the week go to the local town to do some community work, take part in water safety activities and drug awareness.”
The scouts will also be visiting the Hibiscus Festival this Thursday.
The 12th Fiji National Scout Jamboree and Fiji Centennial Jamboree will come to an end on Friday 22nd August, 2014.
5. GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO PROTECTING PEOPLE AFFECTED BY CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate change is already a reality in Fiji and Government is committed to providing protection and assistance to people at risk of climate change.
This was highlighted today at the National Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change workshop at Novotel in Lami.
Divisional Commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu said one of the major challenges that encountered at divisional levels is the relocation of villages that have been affected by climate change.
“When adaptation measures, such as building seawalls and planting mangroves, no longer stem the tide, survival depends on moving the affected population to new land and safer ground,” Mr Bolalevu said.
“Government recognizes it has a primary duty and responsibility to provide protection and assistance to people at risk of climate change.”
Mr Bolalevu added more awareness needs to be created in communities to ensure people are well versed with the adverse effects of climate change and building resilience.
Rotuma Council chairman Joji Konrote said these workshops are a platform for maritime islands to learn more on building resilience towards climate change.
“It is important to prepare people living in our maritime islands because the effects of climate change, in particular the rising sea level, cannot be prevented,” Mr Konrote said.
“We need to learn from each other’s experiences in areas that have been affected by climate change and build resilience in communities,” he said.
The Vunidogoloa village in Vanua Levu is one of the villages in Fiji which has been relocated due to adverse effects of climate change resulting in the flow of seawater to the village compound during high tide.
6. NEW DIALYSIS CENTRE TO BENEFIT PEOPLE IN THE NORTH
Patients in the Northern Division will now benefit from the services of a new Dialysis Centre located at the Labasa Hospital.
Costing $100,000, the two machines were the project of the Festival of the Friendly North Committee in Labasa and the Narayan Family of Australia in partnership with the Ministry of Health.
Speaking at the opening of the centre, Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma said the members of the committee and the Hospital Board of Visitors have both worked hard to make this project successful.
“The efforts made by this committee will surely benefit the people of the North in-terms of travelling and treatment costs in Suva. Treatment is now provided here in Labasa,” Dr Sharma said.
Project manager Jagat Prasad said the project was initiated last year and its successful completion was due to the support of the Health Ministry and the Narayan Family.
“We saw that there was no centre such as this for the Northerners and in-order to save lives, time and money this project was very important and we all worked hard for it,” Mr Prasad
Mr Prasad added that the committee will look into more health projects as per needs of the people in-support of the Health Ministry.