Government representatives, civil societies and the private sector were urged to use a two-day workshop to formalise a relocation guideline as a last adaptation response to the effects of climate in Fiji.
Hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the workshop which began today is a follow up to the February consultations workshop which focussed on sharing thoughts and experiences on how participants can work together to address relocation as the last adaptation option for Fijian communities.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs acting permanent secretary Luke Daunivalu said Fiji’s climate change adaptation measures which try and deal with the current and future impacts of climate change include a wide range of actions.
“Relocation is probably the most drastic step one can take, as people rarely do move from places where they have grown up and which provides them with sustenance,” Mr Daunivalu said.
“If the risks are too great and will impact not just on the livelihoods but on the very existence of communities, relocation becomes the most sensible option,” Mr Daunivalu said.
Mr Daunivalu highlighted that in 2012, Fiji launched its National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) to guide Fiji’s responses to climate change. One of the main objectives of this guide identifies strategies that reduce vulnerability and enhances the resilience of Fijian communities to climate change and disasters.
Narikoso village traditional head Bulou Katarina said the workshop will help her village better understand the effects and impacts of climate change.
“Climate change is directly affecting Fiji and these workshops enable us to learn and be part of the work on relocation plan for villages that have been affected by climate change,” Mrs Katarina said. “Climate change has had an impact on root crops and vegetable farms and I have adopted practices from the past to adapt to the change in weather seasons,” she said.
Mrs Katarina is adamant that with the formalisation of the national guideline on climate change, communities will become more aware of the changes in weather patterns and steps they can undertake to mitigate these effects.