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The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations is pledging its support for Fiji as Fiji prepares to take on the presidency of COP23.

The FAO’s commitment was conveyed to His Excellency the President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote by the Director-General Mr. Jose Graziano da Silva.

His Excellency the President and Mr. da Silva met in Rome this morning just before His Excellency opened the global symposium on soil organic carbon.

Mr. da Silva said the FAO’s support for Fiji will be along the following lines:

“Fiji will preside over COP23 at a critical moment between implementing the Paris Agreement and raising higher ambition. COP23 is a major opportunity to highlight the vulnerability of the Small Islands Developing States and to call for ambitious action in the agriculture sectors to safeguard food security while tackling climate change.

FAO is supporting Fiji’s incoming presidency in developing a central narrative on agriculture resilience and climate change, and in preparing ambitious Climate Action Days around the agricultural sectors. Fiji and Morocco jointly lead the Global Climate Action Agenda (GCA) and the Action Events during COP23. Promoting climate action by Parties and non-Party stakeholders alike is the main focus of the GCA. This platform for action is vital in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Building on its engagement in Paris and Marrakech, where the FAO successfully co-organised High-Level Acton Events based on its expertise in agriculture and food security, forests and oceans, FAO is ready to take a leading role in organising the Climate Action Events, especially on issues related to land use, water and oceans, during COP23 in Bonn, Germany.

The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), the basis of the Paris Agreement, identify countries’ national efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The agricultural sectors feature prominently in countries’ NDCs, especially those of developing countries. FAO is supporting countries to access climate finance to turn their political commitment into reality and is, in this vein, working with Fiji and other countries to explore additional support through GCF funds.

With profound experience in supporting national adaptation planning in over 30 countries, FAO is also leading on the agricultural sectors in the new NDC-Partnership, one of the main outcomes of Marrakech. FAO will support the incoming COP23 Presidency with this work stream and develop a strong narrative to raise ambition in the agriculture sectors as a prospective outcome of COP23.”

Mr. da Silva said the FAO is also accredited to the Green Climate Fund and the organisation has placed itself at Fiji’s disposal to access this fund, which could be given partly as a grant and partly as a loan with low interest rates.

Mr da Silva also encouraged more Fijian and Pacific Islanders to apply for employment within the FAO. He told the President that FAO is looking for young professionals with qualifications and experience in climate change and oceans, among other forms of scientific and technical qualifications and expertise.


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