Tag Archives: President Anote Tong

Kiribati buys a piece of Fiji

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Piece of the land in Fiji

OB – Press Release

Kiribati’s Head of State – President Anote Tong made the announcement last week confirming that government has made the final payment for the purchase of the AUD$9.3 million Natoavatu Estate located in Fiji’s second biggest island of Vanua Levu.

“I wish to officially announce that government has come to a final resolve and has made the full purchase of the piece of land in Fiji.” President Tong said in his address to the nation on national radio last Friday.

Tong added that government sent a team earlier this month, comprising of the Minister of Environment, Lands and Agriculture Development and the Attorney General, to settle the purchase of the land with the Fiji authorities.

The team were assured the Certificate of Title for the Natoavatu Estate after all requirements were met and a transaction of the final payment of AUD$8.3 million was witnessed before the previous land owners – The Trustees for the Colony of Fiji of the Church of England and the Fiji authorities.

Tong said that the acquisition of the 5460-acre piece of land marks a new milestone in government’s development plans particularly in its endeavor to address its economic and food security issues as it is greatly impacted by climate change.

“I’m glad we’ve taken this milestone with Fiji and hope that developed countries can engage with frontline countries like us in this arena, as a matter of taking simple actions rather than negotiating climate change issues where common ground is far from reach.” President Tong added.

Earlier this year, President of the Republic of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau met with his Kiribati counterpart on Kiribati shores where he assured “that the people of Kiribati will have a home if their country is submerged by the rising sea level as a result of climate change.

The Fiji President made the announcement confirming the suggestion made earlier by Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, that Fiji would assist Kiribati in any way it could.

The land purchase of the Natoavatu Estate is an investment by the government to explore options of commercial, industrial and agricultural undertakings such as fish canning, beef/poultry farming, fruit/vegetable farming to name but a few.

Fiji Supports Kiribati On Sea Level Rise

HE Ratu Epeli Nailatikau delivers his speech during the State House Function in Tarawa, Kiribati

HE Ratu Epeli Nailatikau delivers his speech during the State House Function in Tarawa, Kiribati

Press Release SUVA, Fiji, 11 February 2014

Fiji will ensure that the people of Kiribati have a home if their country is submerged by the rising sea level as a result of climate change, said the President of the Republic of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

The president made the announcement during his state visit to Kiribati this week, confirming the suggestion made recently by Fiji’s Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, that Fiji would assist Kiribati in any way it could.

If the sea level continues to rise at its current rate, Kiribati, a nation of low lying atolls, faces the likelihood of complete submersion by the end of the century if not sooner, threatening the country’s very existence.

Kiribati has already purchased 6,000 acres of land on Fiji’s second biggest island, Vanua Levu, to ensure its food security as the sea encroaches on its arable land.

Speaking at a state dinner hosted by Kiribati President Anote Tong on Tuesday, the Fijian president announced that some or all of the people of Kiribati would be able to migrate to Fiji with dignity if the need arose.

“Fiji will not turn its back on our  neighbors in their hour of need,” he said. “I want to assure you all that Fiji will stand shoulder to shoulder with you as you  face this crisis, as well as in doing everything possible to try to avert it. In  a worst case scenario and if all else fails, you will not be refugees.”

Such a migration is not without precedent. Fiji has previously accepted the Banaban people when  they were forced to leave Ocean Island – one of Kiribati’s thirty-three islands – because of the  pressure of phosphate mining there.

“These people now live in Fiji but have  their own seat in the parliament of Kiribati and if necessary, we will do it again,” the president said.

“The spirit of the people of Kiribati will  not be extinguished. It will live on somewhere else because a nation isn’t only  a physical place. A nation – and the sense of belonging that comes with it –  exists in the hearts and the minds of its citizens wherever they may be,” he  said.

The president added that Fiji is  especially keen to lead and assist the Pacific region’s effort to persuade the  rest of the world to finally take decisive action on climate change.

“It is simply not acceptable for the world to stand by and watch the republic  of Kiribati – a sovereign nation and a member  of the United Nations – sink slowly beneath the waves,” the President said on  Tuesday.

He said that Fiji is using every possible  means at the United Nations and in its agencies to draw attention to the plight  Pacific island nations face and the selfishness of the big carbon polluters in  putting their interests above all else.

He added that the issue of climate change matters not just to the people of  Kiribati, but to every Pacific Islander.

“For example, in Fiji, we have already had  to move one village altogether out of the way of the rising sea, and a  second will soon be relocated, and a further 676 communities throughout the  nation are threatened in some way” he said.

Read more:  http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1732761#ixzz2toRgdI9D
Also read: Fiji President visits Kiribati, Fiji will not turn its back on Kiribati,
government land purchase within grasp

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Fiji President Visits Kiribati

Fiji President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau inspects the guard of honor

Fiji President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau inspects the guard of honor

The President of Fiji, His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau was given a full guard of honor and a traditional welcome ceremony at Eita Mwaneaba when he arrived on Sunday last week. The president, first lady Adi Koila Nailatikau and delegation were greeted by the Minister for Education, Maere Tekanene, Kiribati High Commissioner to Fiji, Retata Rimon and Officer in Charge for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Akka Rimon.

Unimwane Katangaua of Etia Village presented Ratu Epeli with their community’s symbol of good fortune and wished him peace, love and prosperity.

During the traditional welcoming in Eita the President thanked Cabinet Ministers, Elders and members of the Tarawa community for their hospitality and warm welcome.

He said the two countries are linked intricately and there are parts of Fiji that are there and parts of Kiribati that are in Fiji and they are very much alive and built on the relationship that both countries now have.

On his tour in Kiribati, the President visited the Fiji Community, the Marine Training Centre (MTC), Kiribati Fish Limited (KFL) and also went fishing with the Kiribati President, Anote Tong.

On a separate schedule, First Lady Adi Koila visited the Special School for the Disable and the Kiribati Family Health Association (KHFA).

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Kiribati applies to join G77

Kiribati President His Excellency Anote Tong announced his Government’s intent to apply for membership of the G77.

At the second day of the G77 high level meeting in Fiji earlier this week, His Excellency announced a forthcoming application and told the summit he believed G77 could assist Kiribati in campaigning for help to deal with rising sea levels and climate change..

“I think it would lend greater force to the advocacy that we have been campaigning on,” His Excellency said.

The G77 is the United Nations’ grouping for poor and developing countries.

Find out more about G77

Wet weather fails to dampen public hearing spirits

Morning rain did not dampen the mood at Kiribati’s first-ever National High-Level Public Hearing on Climate Change on Friday, where leaders addressed the nation on the importance of everyone working together to build national resilience against climate change impacts.

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Official page of the National High-Level Public Hearing on Climate Change

Thankfully, despite the heavy rain overnight, the skies opened up to permit a late start to the event at Bairiki Square, which coincidentally or not translates from i-Kiribati to English as the “place where things happen”.

President Anote Tong addressed the nation at the National High-Level Public Hearing on Climate Change at Bairiki Square.

President Anote Tong addressed the nation at the National High-Level Public Hearing on Climate Change at Bairiki Square on Friday 19 April, 2013.

His Excellency Anote Tong was the first of 10 panelists to take the stage to address the crowded public square where he reiterated the importance of building both consensus and public understanding of climate change and climate change impacts in Kiribati.

“We must prepare the next generation to address the effects of climate change,” His Excellency said*.

These words were more dramatically reiterated in a moving youth performance by Kiribati Health and Family Association (KHFA) at half-time, where, in the skit, a young girl in tears asks her dad “Dad, what will happen to me and my Kiribati in 50 years time?*”

Next, second panel member Kiribati National Council of Churches Chairman Bishop Paul Mea took the stage.

Bishop Mea told the public, both in attendance and aired live across the country, that climate change was a social issue.

His Excellency Anote Tong takes the stage in front before the other panelists, and the nation.

His Excellency Anote Tong takes the stage in front of other panelists and before the nation.

Human interference continued to contribute to the impacts of climate change, Bishop Mea continued, citing Tarawa causeways Nanikai and Teaoraereke as well as the Dai Nippon contributing to the loss of some of the nation’s islets.

Leader of the Opposition Party (Karikirakean te I-Kiribati Party) Dr Tetaua Taitai next acknowledged climate change as a serious issue, but one that should not be the main priority for Kiribati. Instead the more immediate issues of population growth, overcrowding, water and food security, unemployment, education and health should be first addressed, he said.

He added, where climate change was a focus, more attention was needed to how the nation utilised its own resources with that of external resources and that it was necessary for experts to have a sole focus in the context of Kiribati instead of generalising the nation with the rest of the world.

The public raised questions to the panel in person and via telephone and Facebook throughout the day.

*Please note: quotes have been translated from i-Kiribati to English

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Tong talks sustainability in India

‘Adapting to the impacts of climate change’ is a key theme at this year’s Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) in India, where our own President HE Anote Tong will represent Kiribati as a key speaker.

His Excellency Anote Tong

His Excellency Anote Tong

The 13th annual event, which runs from 31 January to 2 February in New Delhi, India, has emerged as one of the leading forums on sustainable development and aims to explore the dimensions of promoting resource-efficient development as well as attempt to strengthen the global momentum for green growth as outlined at the Rio+20 Conference.

Other themes on the agenda include ‘mitigating emissions of greenhouse gases and associated co-benefits’; ’employment and growth potential of a green economy’; and ‘defining the future we want’.

The event will host various heads of State and Government, thought leaders, policy makers, academics and academics, including President of the Asian Development Bank Haruhiko Kuroda and Former President of the Former Soviet Union HE Mikhail Gorbachev.

For more information visit the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit website.

 

Kam na mauri and welcome

On behalf of the Government and people of Kiribati I am pleased to welcome you to this website, which is designed to bring you information and updates on our situation in Kiribati.

You will be aware that our small country is facing critically difficult times with regard to climate change issues & its impact on our future. We hope the content and links from this site will assist you in understanding more clearly our situation. I am also pleased to refer you to the short video clip “Kiribati – A Call to the World” here on this page which very much represents the concerns and feelings of our people.

We thank you sincerely for your interest, and refer you to this site, or the contacts detailed here, if any further information is required. In closing may I offer our traditional Kiribati blessing—Te Mauri, Te Raoi ao Te Tabomoa—may good health, peace and prosperity be with you all.

Anote Tong
President of the Republic of Kiribati

President Tong named ‘Ocean Pioneer’

Chief Scientist for Oceans, Conservation International Greg Stone writes about our President Anote Tong in a blog for the Huffington Post …

I had the honor last week to present the Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in National Stewardship of the Ocean to a longtime friend and the most visionary head of state I have ever known, His Excellency Anote Tong — President of the Republic of Kiribati. This recognition is well deserved for President Tong; he has proven through global leadership, the power of a large ocean island state in managing a wealth of marine resources, and the positive effects it can have upon the health of its neighboring ocean waters.

Pronounced kirr-i-bas, it is a nation of coral atolls, seamounts and vast areas of high seas in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. It comprises of three distinct island-groups — the Gilbert Islands, Phoenix Islands and Line Islands — that straddle the equator about halfway between Hawaii and Fiji. With a collective land area of just over 800 square kilometers (almost 300 square miles), the nation is the model of a large ocean island state, with an ocean territory that covers over 3.4 million square kilometers (Over 1.3 million square miles) of the Pacific Ocean. It is a nation of water, and President Tong has led the country by always recognizing his people’s health, history, economies and well being is tied directly to the health of the sea.

In 2008, President Tong led the creation of one of the world’s largest and most biologically rich marine protected areas, the 380,000 square kilometer (150,000 square mile) Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA). It was later inscribed by UNESCO as the largest and deepest world heritage site in 2010. In addition to PIPA he has also been the leader in another significant achievement, the establishment of the Pacific Oceanscape.

The Oceanscape covers nearly 40 million square kilometers (15 million square miles) — that’s over 7 percent of the Earth’s surface! This region is home to thousands of beautiful and productive coral reefs, as well as the planet’s largest remaining stocks of tuna, which provide approximately one-third of the world’s catch of tuna and related species. It is also home to Pacific Islanders who depend on the ocean for their livelihood and survival, and whose lifestyles and cultures are inextricably linked to their island resources.”

Recognizing the power and responsibility Kiribati and other ocean states in the Pacific Ocean have to protect their ocean resources, President Tong helped push the adoption of the Pacific Oceanscape framework that was first introduced at the Pacific Islands Leaders Forum in 2009. This 16-country agreement aims to protect and manage the world’s largest ocean to restore and maintain its abundance.

Read the full article at the Huffington Post