by Arthur Sokimi
After approximately 30 odd hours of flying and playing paper rugby in airports, the Fiji delegation arrived safely in Quito, Ecuador for the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). Jetlagged and with very sore bottoms, we settled into our accommodations and after a little rest put our heads together again to work on our proposal to list nine mobula species, plus reef mantas.
The entire team has been quite anxious since this is Fiji’s first ever appearance at CMS and we are making it a spectacle with a proposal. Actually Fiji is the first Pacific Island country to make a proposal at CMS! Lead by our towering Head of Delegation, Mr. Aisake Batibasaga, we are optimistic and we live the theme of this years’ COP; “Time for Action”!
|The Fijian delegation inside the meeting hall.|
UNLESS we learn to live in harmony with nature there is NO future for us!!
This is the very important message that must be shared with everyone. This is what everyone on earth should know, should think, and should talk about. It cannot be stressed, repeated or shouted enough!
Today’s opening ceremony was a pleasant occasion with the hosts Ecuador going out of their way to make everyone feel welcome with very inspirational talks from three conservation advocates. One of the opening addresses was given by Achmat Hassiem, Paralympian 100m Bronze medal winner in the London Paralympics and World Champion 200m butterfly champion, who lost a leg to a shark back in his homeland of South Africa.
|South Africa and Fiji together for sharks!|
Arthur Sokimi is the director of outreach for Shark Defenders. He lives in Suva, Fiji. You can follow Arthur on Twitter.