NADI, Fiji, June 20 -- China's Special Envoy for the China-Pacific Islands Forum Dialogue Du Qiwen called for more attention and greater efforts from the international community to help address the crisis facing the South Pacific islands and countries, calling them the most vulnerable to the impacts of environment change and global warming.
During his two stints as a special envoy for the Pacific Islands affairs, ambassador Du visited seven of the South Pacific Island countries and saw with his own eyes how the environment changes affect the islands.
As put by Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the opening of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) summit on Thursday, "the rising sea levels caused by global warming threaten the very existence of some of our neighbors -- Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands -- and are already swamping the coastal areas of many Pacific nations, including Fiji."
The ambassador himself saw coastline highways submerged, with electric line poles standing in water, deserted as a result of rising sea level, he said in an interview with Xinhua on Thursday.
Green growth and sustainable development is the common task and shared responsibility of all countries in the world. The pacific Island countries, which face challenges of a more severe nature, need better understanding, support and assistance from the international community, the ambassador said earlier in his speech at the summit.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to green growth and sustainable development. China has made great efforts to tackle climate change and has contributed significantly to the global endeavor in this area through specific and effective adaptation and mitigation actions.
China is the first developing country to adopt and implement a National Climate Change Program, and has made intensive efforts in emission reduction. China's investment in clean energy is the biggest in the world, and as a result China has made great progress in developing green technology.
The envoy, once a representative of Chinese Mission to United Nations Environment Program, called for greater resolve and commitment, especially from the developed countries to address the global environment issue, especially in the fields of funds and technology transfer.
China always actively supports the Pacific Island Countries ( PIC) in their sustainable development. As a developing country itself, China wants to see the people on the islands prosper, and China's assistance to these countries and regions is sincere, on an equal footing and pragmatic, said Wu.
At the moment, China is working hard with the PICs for their successful implementation, focusing on, among other things, clean energy projects, including small hydropower plants, eco-farms, and bio-gas projects.
For example, as a result of a starch-rich food pattern featuring cassava and taro, many island inhabitants are inclined to be obese and suffer from various health issues. Chinese agricultural experts helped the local people with advanced vegetable cultivating technologies, among others, which help add more green vegetable to the table of ordinary islands people.
The envoy also recalled fondly a tour four years ago to inspect a bridge donated by China in a village near Suva, the capital of Fiji. He was greeted by a grand traditional welcome ceremony by about 60 local villagers out of the village of several hundred people, during which many elderly villagers joined in the ceremony with offering of traditional Kava drink and roasted suckling pig.
"I was really touched by their sincerity and warmth. It is still so vivid in my mind four years later," said the envoy.
The chief of the village later told him that the villagers voluntarily asked to welcome the Chinese envoy with the ceremony to express their gratitude. With the new bridge, the villagers could send their children to school and sell their products to Suva without boat rides, which saved them so much trouble and danger and thus greatly improved their lives and livelihood.
"China actively supports the Pacific island countries in sustainable development. It has provided assistance to the PICs under the framework of South-South Cooperation, and has carried out a series of technical cooperation projects to help them enhance their capacity for self-reliant development," Du said.
Last year, China announced a package of new measures to assist the sustainable development of PICs, including 1 billion U.S. dollars in concessional loans and 1 billion U.S. dollars in special loans for infrastructure development of PICs.
Du is here to for the second summit of the PIDF at the invitation of the Fijian government.
The summit, themed "Green Growth in the Pacific: Building Resilient Sustainable Futures and Genuine Partnerships," gathers about 400 high-level participants from more than 10 Pacific island governments, civil society and business circles as well as observers from nations such as Morocco, Venezuela, Israel, Singapore, Kazakhstan, Kuwait and Georgia.