The Minister for Forests, Osea Naiqama has called on all Fijians to have a renewed respect for nature.

Speaking
at the launch of the 33rd Fiji Bitter Nawaka 7s at Nawaka village
yesterday, Minister Naiqama stressed that everyone needs regular reminders of a
person’s connection with nature and the planet.

“This
act is fundamental. The health of our planet is essential to our own health and
well-being and to our future and trees and mangroves are an essential part of
it.”

“Rising
sea levels threaten every coastline. More powerful storms and floods threaten
every continent. On shrinking islands, families are already being forced to
flee their homes as climate refugees. The security and stability of our nation
is in jeopardy and the time we have to reverse this tide is running out.”

Minister
Naiqama acknowledged the sponsors of the Nawaka 7s and highlighted that the
programme is what the Ministry of Forestry, would like to see as a formidable
partnership with sporting organisations/sporting personalities in Fiji and the
region – a partnership to better address the effects of climate change.

“The
Ministry of Forestry hopes that these rugby greats can become great ambassadors
for climate change and relay the message about our tiny nation’s efforts to
combat climate change.

“Interaction
with the natural world enables us to experience wonder, joy, celebration and
hope in a way as we can in no other place.”

He
also stressed that as human beings we need to exercise stewardship, not as
owners, but as one who is charged with overseeing and looking after something.

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