Fiji National University (FNU) recognises the immediacy of the climate emergency and the need for systemic change and has placed environmental sustainability as an all-encompassing theme of its Strategic Plan 2021–2026.
Leading as examples in advocating sustainable development and creating greater awareness in the fight against climate change, the Fiji National University’s (FNU) Senior Leadership Team (SLT) members participated in “the tree planting initiative” at the College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (CAFF) Koronivia Campus.
Acting Vice-Chancellor Dr William May said FNU places environmental protection, climate change adaptation and resilience as central to its operations with a vision for a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future for all.
“The effect of climate change is a wake-up call for us to take the right steps immediately, and at the same time, we are raising awareness to adapt to the right actions needed to fight climate change,” said Dr May.
“FNU is committed to creating a more inclusive and robust economy by reducing carbon emissions to restore our natural environment and protect our people from climate change.”
As part of the Strategic Plan 2021-2026, FNU aims to position itself as a leader in climate change adaptation and sustainability through our education and research, actions and policies, and ‘green budgeting’; utilise its estate as a ‘living laboratory’ to test, develop and refine sustainability initiatives; prepare students for success in the blue/green economy; and become a role model for sustainability.
FNU also will work with partners at national, international and supranational levels to secure funding for applied research and practical interventions in support of climate change adaptation and resilience.
“The university will hold dialogues with stakeholders, students, society, and regional and international agencies to enhance awareness on climate change and care for the environment.”
FNU’s Dean for the College of Humanities and Education (CHE), Professor Unaisi Nabobo-Baba, said such initiatives are important and should be adopted by everyone to safeguard our planet.
“FNU is showing the way as we undertook similar initiatives at the Natabua (Lautoka) and Labasa campuses. The world needs many more people to plant more trees,” Prof Nabobo-Baba said.
“Fiji played a leading role in COP26, and we, as the national university, are very much on the path to support Fiji’s fight at the local, national and international level.”
NTPC Director, Dr Isimeli Tagicakiverata, has encouraged everyone to stand up against climate change.
“The tree planting activity is a good gesture as it shows that FNU’s leadership team is taking the lead role in our green environment and sustainability initiatives, which is visible to students and the community at large,” Dr Tagicakiverata said.
The Division of Capital Projects and Infrastructure Director, Niranjwan Chettiar, who is the Chair of FNU’s Sustainability Initiatives Committee, said this initiative aligns with Government’s call to join the fight against climate change campaign to plant 30 Million Trees in 15 Years.
“The tree planting exercise was carried out to ensure the idea of sustainability is embraced at the highest level at the university. Through its Strategic Plan, FNU has a strong focus on the environment,” Chettiar said.
“The year 2022 marks the first year of full implementation of the university’s sustainability plan. It comes at a time of being recognised by the Times Higher Education Impact Ranking on Sustainable Development Goals Implementation.”