Adapting to climate change and increasing resilience to it’s impacts are becoming increasingly important.
In recognizing the threats of climate change and it’s impact, it is no longer about resilience, but how we all need to work collectively to build “long term resilience.
These were remarks of Assistant Minister at the Office of the Prime Minister, Honorable Sakiusa Tubuna whilst delivering his official remarks at the Disaster and Climate Risk Calculation training held in Peninsula today.
“Your presence and participation today is important as each of you play a crucial role in representing your respective expert agencies in the assessments that form part of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for planned relocation,” Hon. Tubuna added.
“To deal with climate change we must be developing a new breed of civil servants, to address the extraordinary and multifaceted discipline of climate change relocation.”
“This new breed of civil servants should have a wide range of knowledge and at the same time should have some knowledge on natural resources, agriculture, fisheries, livelihoods, and insurance. And most important of all the skills to ensure that those affected will have a decent life and livelihood after they are relocated,” Hon. Tubuna reiterated.
Hon. Tubuna acknowledged the work of the Fijian Taskforce on Relocation and Displacement, particularly our long-term partners – the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the German Development Agency – GIZ for their tremendous support in the development of the SOP and its methodologies, that will now enable urgent and much-needed support for the vulnerable communities.
“As you begin the consultations and scaled assessments of impacted communities earmarked for relocation, it is important to recognize feasible adaptation options as alternative measures, ensuring that planned relocation should only be considered as an option of last resort,” Hon. Tubuna stated.
“The relocation of villages will be a financial drain of government and donors’ resources if they are not managed cost effectively.”
“You should ensure that you empower communities so that they undertake most of the work themselves as there is so much dependency on government. For example, if there’s a village to be relocated that have resources such as timber, we should be training them to log their timber and we can assist them in the construction of their houses.”
“We should also ensure that we utilize and empower our communities and organizations to understand why we are taking this steps, at the same time we should be advocating this changes at the schools and churches in the villages that ought to be relocated,” Hon Tubuna added.
The three-day training aims to strengthen the understanding of participants on the main approaches and tools for calculating disaster and climate risks through the better understanding of the objectives and components of the Comprehensive Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Methodology (CRVAM) in the context of planned relocation, to name a few.
The training targets GIS specialists from relevant government agencies; members of the technical working group of the Fijian Taskforce on Relocation and Displacement; and development partners and institutions working on disaster and climate hazards and risk analysis in Fiji.