1 May 2020

Fiji govt announces oceans and climate change scholarships

11:42 am on 1 May 2020

Fiji's government has announced 24 scholarships for Pacific students to pursue the advanced study of the oceans and climate change.

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said the $US2.7 million package is being facilitated under the Norway-Pacific Ocean-Climate Scholarship Project.

Mr Bainimarama said during the Oceans Panel last year Palau, Norway and Fiji agreed there's a lack of oceanic expertise in the Pacific.

He called on young Pasifika to be at the forefront to protect their ocean.

Mr Bainimarama said there is also a need for "new ideas, borne in Pacific minds and backed by science, that can transform humanity's relationship with the ocean and marine life."

The prime minister said the study would empower Pacific islanders with the knowledge and expertise required to make "wise and forward-thinking decisions."

"We know our climate and oceans are naturally linked, but there is still a great deal beyond our current understanding.

"We must meet those vast unknowns with complex and combined intellectual efforts, and we need the best and brightest minds of the Pacific enlisted in that academic pursuit.

"As the people most affected by climate change, our experts from the Pacific Small Islands Developing States should lead the science behind sustainable solutions," Mr Bainimarama said.