Fiji’s Minister for Labour Jone Usamate said the cost of these disasters to Pacific economies especially infrastructure is large and often unsustainable.
“Unexpected events and natural disasters bring destruction to our communities and negatively impact our economic growth and sustainable development as Pacific people,” Mr Usamate said.
“Pacific people share many development problems that are common to all of us problems in the areas of energy and transport services however we are still confident that we can seek and find solutions to our development problems,” Mr Usamate said.
He pointed out that regional integration, partnership and dialogue will be the avenue to address these challenges.
Meanwhile, Tokelau’s Minister for Transport and Energy Foua Toloa told participants that his country is the first country in the world to be producing one hundred percent of its electricity from a renewable source—the sun.
“Commitments of this nature define the approach of developing “Pacific solutions to Pacific problems” as we strive to address the impacts of climate change on our island nations,” Mr Toloa said.
“I urge leaders to adopt similar actions and be a beacon to the rest of the world in how to reduce a country’s carbon footprint,” Toloa said.
Toloa said the government of Tokelau has plans to maintain the strong momentum and ensuring that initiatives are maintained.
The meeting ends today with regional countries signing the communiqué on discussions and way forward.
THE relationship between natural disasters and economies was highlighted at the Second Pacific Regional Meeting of Ministers of Energy and Maritime Transport in Nadi..