Fiji official: Climate change hampers development of island nations

Aug. 22, 2013 at 4:58 PM

SUVA, Fiji, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Climate change is one of the biggest barriers to sustainable development for small island countries, a Fijian official said Wednesday.

Speaking at a climate workshop in Fiji's capital Suva, Esala Nayasi, director of the political and treaties division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the adverse effects of climate change are a security threat to Pacific island countries (PICs), China's Xinhua news agency reported.

"As PICs, it is incumbent on us to endeavor to advance our interest within the international community and we need science, we need research, we need data and we need climate change engineering," Nayasi said.

Fiji has recognized that individually it cannot achieve change, he said, so collective strength is required to persuade communities on the absolute need for action on climate change.

The Suva workshop, the "First Open Discussion Workshop about Climate Engineering: Perspectives of Pacific Small Island States," is a joint effort of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies and the University of the South Pacific's Pacific Center for Environment and Sustainable Development.

Twelve Pacific island countries are attending.

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