Island Governor Rijna advocates solidarity in the fight against climate change

Governor Edison Rijna, climate envoy Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme and Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb. Photo: Bonaire Government

KRALENDIJK/NEW YORK – At the launch of the International Panel on Deltas and Coastal Areas (IPDC) at the UN Water Conference in New York, Lieutenant Governor Edison Rijna argued that small island states should receive more support from large countries in order to protect themselves against the impact of climate change.

He pointed out that the islands contribute to global warming, but they do so first and often in the most serious way, with the negative impacts becoming slower, including more extreme weather and rising sea levels. As a guest speaker, Rijna warmly welcomed the establishment of the IPDC – an initiative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands that helps draw up concrete climate adaptation advice. The aim is for countries to adapt better to the changing climate. Thanks to this initiative, (scientific) knowledge can be exchanged simultaneously with several authorities in order to tackle problems in the field of water and climate. Funds are available through investment banks.

Prominent presence

It is the first time that Bonaire has been able to present itself so prominently at the level of the United Nations (UN), to which 193 countries are affiliated. Governor Rijna was invited to speak on two occasions. In between the other sessions, he spoke with colleagues from the islands, climate envoy Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme, water envoy and flood expert Henk Ovink, ministers Liesje Schreinemacher (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) and Mark Harbers (Infrastructure and Water Management).

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