Fiji has urged fellow Melanesian countries, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and FLNKS (Kanak Socialist National Liberation Front, New Caledonia) to adopt a national approach to environmental and climate change intervention.
At the 2nd Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Environment and Climate Change minister’s meeting, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said it was important to have such intervention at national level because these issues affected the livelihood and national development of MSG countries.
“It is incumbent upon us to ensure that issues concerning the environment and climate change are given prominence they deserve in the formulation and implementation of our development policies and strategies,” Ratu Inoke said.
He reiterated the need to have intervention at national level before advancing to regional and international level.
“This meeting essentially provides us with an opportunity to take a more holistic approach at the issues at hand to ensure coherence in the way we advance initiatives not only at regional but more importantly at the national and community level,” Ratu Inoke said.
“While we hope to set our own regional frameworks and engage our development partners in our initiatives, it is imperative we ensure that what we decide today are needs-oriented and country driven.”
The Minister for Foreign Affairs added that it was therefore important for MSG countries to acknowledge that whatever regional framework was formulated, should be reflective of its national needs and aspirations.
Meanwhile, the ministerial meeting on Friday was chaired by the Minister for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment, Colonel Samuela Saumatua.