More than 30 Fiji National University (FNU) students were inducted as Student Environment Ambassadors last week to champion sustainability practices amongst their peers on campus.
FNU’s Acting Vice-Chancellor, Dr William May commended the students for expressing their interest in participating in the initiative, which is part of the Environment Champions Club programme organised by the Office of the Registrar.
“Having launched two important and guiding documents of the University last year – the FNU Strategic Plan and Sustainability Plan – today’s event is evidence of our students’ key role and commitment to the objectives set out in both living documents for the period 2021 until 2026,” Dr May said.
“With the Environment being placed as an all-encompassing theme of our strategic direction, as the national university, we have ensured that our priorities and key outcomes are aligned to national agendas such as Fiji’s National Development Plan and the Climate Change Bill.”
“Hence, our students – who are the very reason we are all part of this institution today – play a leading role in achieving our sustainability objectives through their student-led initiatives and activities.”
“This is emphasised as one of seven objectives of our Sustainability Plan, which is to train our youths and leaders of tomorrow to embrace sustainability in all aspects of their academic, personal and family life.”
Dr May encouraged the ambassadors to proactively make a difference on campus through the various student-led sustainability initiatives and projects they planned to undertake.
Registrar Sarita Devi added that the programme was the first of its kind under the Office of the Registrar’s Department of Student Support Services – Campus Life in collaboration with the Sustainability Initiatives Committee Chair and Director Capital Projects & Infrastructure, Niranjwan Chettiar, and the FNU Students Association (FNUSA).
“Given Fiji’s leading role in environmental action and advocacy, it is only fitting that students of Fiji’s national University contribute to a more sustainable and greener environment,” she said.
“With this in mind, the University initiated the Student Environment Ambassador programme and has identified 35 passionate environment champions from each of our campuses. These students will be provided with the necessary support to form Environment Champions Club.”
“We are also glad that partners such as Waste Recycles Fiji Limited and others have come on board to provide training and mentoring for our students.”
“The entire programme will be carried out in four phases until next year, and we look forward to working closely with our student ambassadors to achieve their sustainability goals.”
First-year Bachelor of Sports Education and Exercise Science student, Ponijese Tadrau said he was excited to undertake the role and form an environment club at Nasinu Campus.
“I lived on Rotuma for the last seven years and witnessed first-hand the effects of climate change on the land and sea,” he explained.
“I realised that climate and environment action and advocacy is everyone’s responsibility and we must start now. Every activity, awareness session and project that we do is for the benefit of the environment.”