Wednesday, 13 October 2021, Suva Fiji: The Pacific Islands Development (PIDF) Secretariat held a virtual Pacific Youth Solar Challenge (PYSC) awards ceremony for the Fiji component. The PYSC is a regional initiative based on national competitions for young people from PIDF member countries to showcase the benefits of solar energy.
The Fiji challenge is a national competition for young people from across the country to showcase the benefits of solar energy. The youth of Fiji are its future leaders, and can spread the message that it is time to embrace solar energy.
In awarding the winner, Mr Rodney Acraman, for the Fiji Youth Solar Challenge video competition, the Secretary Ambassador Solo Mara stated it was unfortunate that we are hosting this event virtually given the current circumstance, but nonetheless, it signifies a landmark event for PIDF in regards to this competition.
Ambassador Mara mentioned the PYSC was launched in 2019 at COP25 and together with its partners launched the Fiji Challenge in December 2020. He also acknowledged the Chinese Embassy, Suva and Vodafone Fiji for sponsoring the PYSC competition.
“The competition encouraged the participation of youths in supporting and accelerating the benefits of renewable energy in the Pacific Islands. Renewable energy is a big component of trying to reduce our carbon foots in the Pacific. Although, our carbon footprint is miniscule in comparison to other big emitters, it is nonetheless, important for the Pacific to take the lead in demonstrating to the world that it can be done and it should be done for our own survival,” said Ambassador Mara.
In responding to the awards announcement by Ambassador Mara, Mr Rodney Acraman, expressed his gratitude for the awards and commended the PIDF for its work in the fight against climate change and the unwavering dedication in raising awareness for all of us to take climate action seriously.
“In 2016, when cyclone Winston ravaged across Fiji and particularly to my ‘koro ni vasu’ (mother’s village) in Vuna, Taveuni which was badly hit and left almost unrecognizable. But more scary then the pictures of the devastation was the stories that followed for those who endured cyclone Winston. For us in Fiji and the region, climate change is something real to us and therefore competitions as such play a vital role in raising awareness. There are things we can do to combat climate change, for instance, by switching to solar among other things,” said Rodney.
The PIDF Secretariat representatives delivered the prizes to Mr Acraman at his residence in Caqiri, Nasinu at the conclusion of the virtual event.
Now that the Fiji component of the competition is completed, similar challenge will be rolled out to the other 11 PIDF member states in due course.
The PIDF member countries include: Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.