Safe Communities a Priority: Government
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.”