The Bonn-Fiji commitment lives on

COP23 closed with a ceremonial handover of Lady Climate Change, a Fijian Drua, from Fiji to Bonn.

On the closing day of COP23, the 23rd United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Public Enterprises, Civil Service and Communications, Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management and COP23 High-Level Climate Champion, ceremoniously handed over a Fijian Drua to the residents of Bonn and Mayor Ashok Sridharan.

The Drua is the traditional voyaging canoe of Fiji. This replica, pictured below, as a gift from Fiji to Bonn, symbolizes that all levels of government and actors from the Global North and South can work together to address climate change.

“We are grateful for the generosity of the German government and the generosity, hospitality and warmth of the people of Bonn,” said Attorney-General Sayed-Khaiyum. 

“This canoe will remain here in Bonn and will be placed in the Stadthause,” said Mayor Sridharan, highlighting that he will see it as he goes to and from Bonn City Hall each day. “All the Bonn people who visit can see that Fiji has been to Bonn. It is enriching our lives to have and have had you here with us,” said the mayor.

By connecting Fiji and Bonn, the Drua is also an embodiment of the Bonn-Fiji Commitment of Local and Regional Leaders to Deliver the Paris Agreement At All Levels. Through this commitment, the hundreds of local and regional governments that adopted it are putting forward the commitments and concrete actions they will undertake globally.

A key feature of the Bonn-Fiji Commitment is its emphasis on multilevel governance as a key part of global climate action - and on building alliances across borders.

In essence, this means looking towards stronger joint action between all levels of government, across sectors and through global collaboration to ensure that national, regional and local climate action is as effective and impactful as possible. The Bonn-Fiji Commitment signals that local and regional governments intend to work alongside nations and other climate actors to achieve Paris goals and raise global climate ambitions.

The ceremonial handover of the Drua shows that collaboration between all levels of government - as well as strong Global North and South connections - is an important part of the legacy of this COP and will play an important role of moving climate action forward.

Next up

The next stop this year for climate action is the One Planet Summit on 12 December 2017, two years after the Paris Agreement was adopted. The One Planet Summit is expected to host a number of announcements and initiatives addressed at the Heads of State level and by other climate actors, continuing the momentum built through the Bonn-Fiji Commitment.

Pictured below from left to right: ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin, Mayor of Seoul and ICLEI President Park Won Soon, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Patricia Espinosa and Mayor of Quito Mauricio Rodas. Mayors Park and Rodas, who were among the city leaders adopting the Bonn-Fiji Commitment at COP23, are invited to join the upcoming summit in Paris.

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