By Rula Su’a – Vaai, Talamua Media and Samoa Press Pool Reporter
FUNAFUTI, TUVALU – MONDAY 12 AUGUST 2019: Fiji’s Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama is offering Tuvalu a place to live if the worst scenario takes its toll.
Climate scientists and experts from around the region gathered in Funafuti to discuss the impacts of climate change on the region, as the Pacific Islands Forum Meeting gets underway in Tuvalu.
Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Honorable Enele Sopoaga in his speech says it is very clear that Pacific islands are facing a climate crisis and is calling for action.
“We must act urgently to guarantee the future of Pacific Island States. Our survival is at stake and there is no time to waste, and we must be decisive in our actions, not on ambitions.”
Tuvalu is one of the most climate-vulnerable nations in the world since the average height of the islands is less than 2 metres (6.6 ft) above sea level, with the highest point of Niulakita being about 4.6 metres (15 ft) above sea level.
Hosting the Pacific Island Forum this week has given the small island nation a platform to call for a more collective response to the threat of climate change.
Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who was the chief guest for the Sautalaga dialogue or Talanoa session assured Small Island States that Fiji and Pacific Island States will do everything to assist the more vulnerable smaller Islands
“God forbid, that effort fails because the industrial nations continue to selfishly put their own interests above our own, Fiji will offer a home to you – the people of Tuvalu. We have made the same offer to your neighbours in Kiribati” says Bainimarama.
“This is obviously not our preferred option or yours. Because natural justice demands that you continue to live in the place you call home, the islands you love, and the islands of your ancestors” added Bainimarama.
Samoa’s Kosi Latu, Director General of SPREP in Samoa is expected to speak on NDC and the carbon development implications in the Pacific.
The Sautalaga dialogue is expected to finish today with a closed session to the leaders.