Solomon Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Milner Tozaka has been conferred with the “Award of Grand Officer of the Order of Star of Italy” in recognition of Solomon Islands ongoing effort to advocate against the impacts of Climate Change.
The visiting Italian Minister of Environment, Land and Sea Gian Luca Galletti bestowed the award on Minister Tozaka following talks between the two leaders in Honiara today.
Minister Tozaka said the award is a great honour for himself and Solomon Islands since this is the first of its kind to occur between the two countries.
It is also a great honour for a Developed nation like Italy to recognise the strive of a small Island Nation like Solomon Islands in its campaign against the negative impacts of climate change.
“There is only one world and though my country is small in its economy of scale and political influence, we will not cease to stop the momentum that we are building in addressing climate change impacts, promoting sustainable development and ensuring that renewable energy is the path for the future,” an elated Tozaka said.
Tozaka also informed the visiting Italian delegation that relevant government ministries in Solomon Islands have made climate change a priority and are working endlessly to achieve their goals.
The Foreign Minister also highlighted that the world is at a vulnerable place in terms of the environment and it is clear that ignorance to the signs of disaster will only hasten the destruction that environmental degradation will bring.
“For Small Pacific Island Nations, this is what we tried to avoid and it is with much appreciation that we thank the Government and people of Italy for recognising that the threat of climate change is real,” Tozaka said.
He added that Italy has shown the world that it is serious with its climate change programmes at the national level and at the Pacific level; it has established understandings on renewable energy programmes.
“These are the very examples that we wish the rest of the developed world can follow,” said Minister Tozaka.