The launch of a dredging vessel this week in Kiribati illustrated the EU’s commitment to supporting Kiribati in its efforts to achieve sustainable development, while addressing its vulnerability to climate change.
“This launching paves the way for this pioneering project’s success by allowing i-Kiribati people access to a local, environmentally-safe source of construction material. Kiribati sets an example to be replicated by all small islands states,” European Commissioner for Development, Mr Andris Piebalgs said.
Mr Pielbags launched the vessel along with Mr Tom Murdoch, the Kiribati Minister of Finance and Economic Development, and Michael Petterson, Director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Applied Geoscience Division.
Kiribati Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Murdoch, said: “The people of Kiribati appreciate very much the continuous support provided by the European Union. The EU is a key player in Kiribati and the Government and people of Kiribati will continue to value our close relationship.”
The SPC’s Michael Petterson added: “The European Union is to be congratulated for helping SPC develop a project that can alleviate negative environmental impacts and provide not only alternative lagoon sources of sand but also provide sustainable, high quality employment for Kiribati people.”
Press Release, May 1, 2014