Message from President Danny Faure On the occasion of International Day of Families 2019 “Families and Climate Action: Focus on SDG 13”

14 May 2019 | State House

Message from President Danny Faure

On the occasion of International Day of Families 2019

“Families and Climate Action: Focus on SDG 13”

Today, on 15 May, we join the global community to celebrate the International Day of Families, where we recognise the family as the basic unit of society. This year, we mark this day by highlighting the threat of climate change and the important role that families play in climate action.

Family is the first institution where learning begins, where core values are transmitted, and responsibilities as citizens are communicated. Family is the foundation of our society. Every family member should have a hand in protecting our environment, and ensuring that as a family, as a community, and as a nation, we are more resilient to the effects of climate change.

There is no country that is not experiencing the severe effects of climate change. As of 2017, human-induced activity is estimated to have caused a rise of approximately 1 degree Celsius of global warming above pre-industrial levels. The annual average economic losses from climate-related disasters are in the hundreds of billions of dollars, not to mention the human impact of such disasters, which have taken millions of lives, separated families and affected livelihoods.

Climate change has become an existential threat not only to the lives of people in island states, but the world as a whole. As islanders, we live this stark reality every day. We see its effects in our eroding coastlines and unpredictable weather patterns. We see its effects on our coral reefs and rising sea levels. As a nation, and as part of the international community, we must realise that this issue is not only a concern for the government, but every citizen, and every family member has an important role to play.

The influence of climate change on the impact of hazardous events is already apparent in Seychelles. Extreme weather events are more common leading to extensive damage and significant economic loss. We must make a greater collective effort to reduce the risk of disaster, ensure sustainable natural resource management and invest in low-carbon development. This is critical not just for our development, but our existence as an island nation.

Each one of us has the ‘duty of care’ in mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing the risk of disasters. As the initial foundation of our community, families has an important role to play in adapting to changes brought on by climate change.

Today, let us recognise the important role that families and a stable home environment play in contributing to our success as a nation. Let us recognise the importance of raising awareness on climate action, which starts with that fundamental building block of society – the family.

I wish all families here in Seychelles and around the world a happy International Day of Families, and encourage greater collective focus on United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action.

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