Safe Com­mu­ni­ties a Pri­or­ity: Gov­ern­ment

Fiji Sun - - Fiji Today - Edited by Mo­hammed Zul­fikar LUSI BANUVE Feed­back: lu­siana.banuve@fi­jisun.com.fj

Gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to com­mit it­self to se­cur­ing a safe fu­ture for com­mu­ni­ties who face the high­est risk of be­ing af­fected by cli­mate change. Speak­ing at the Tar­geted Topics Fo­rum un­der the Na­tional Adap­ta­tion Plan (NAP) Global Net­work con­fer­ence at The Westin De­na­rau Is­land Re­sort & Spa, the head of the Cli­mate Change and In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion of the Min­istry of Econ­omy, Nilesh Prakash says this com­mit­ment is be­hind the putting to­gether of a Na­tional Re­lo­ca­tion Pol­icy.

This is a pol­icy that looks af­ter the re­lo­ca­tion of en­tire com­mu­ni­ties that are be­ing di­rectly af­fected by cli­mate change.

Mr Prakash said the work of re­lo­ca­tion was a cru­cial one as it in­volved lives of peo­ple like those in Vu­nido­goloa in Savusavu. “Vu­nido­goloa (in Cakau­drove) was one of the first com­mu­ni­ties in the world in 2014 to be re­lo­cated. Three to four years down the line, we are still talk­ing about that com­mu­nity, the com­mu­nity mem­bers are still talk­ing about what has hap­pened to them. The vil­lage head­man is mak­ing in­ter­na­tional ap­pear­ances shar­ing ex­pe­ri­ences about what hap­pened.”

“The Fi­jian Gov­ern­ment is fi­nal­is­ing its re­lo­ca­tion pol­icy, as well as a re­lo­ca­tion guide­line. The ap­proach we are tak­ing to fi­nalise this doc­u­ment is to cap­ture the ex­pe­ri­ences and the best prac­tices from some of our past ex­pe­ri­ences.”

“We need to un­der­stand the process bet­ter. In Gov­ern­ment, there are a num­ber of agen­cies in­volved in the re­lo­ca­tion process.”

“We need to un­der­stand the cost in­volved in this kind of re­lo­ca­tion. The re­lo­ca­tion of Vu­nido­goloa cost $1 mil­lion. We need to un­der­stand that mov­ing com­mu­ni­ties from where they have spent their en­tire lives has a num­ber of im­pacts.”

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