Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
2nd December 2011, Durban, South Africa: The Lami Town, Fiji Project: Cities and Climate Change Initiative (UN HABITAT) has captured the interest of other countries following its presentation today at the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 7th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol that has been meeting in Durban, South Africa from 28th November to 9th December 2011.
Fiji’s presentation by the CEO Lami Town Council Ms. Preeya Ieli centred around the Lami Town Council Climate Change adaptation project that involved the construction of the seawall to counter the growing invasion of the sea. After a brief introduction from Fiji’s Director of Environment Mr Jope Davetanivalu, Miss Ieli discussed the steps that the Lami Town Council took to address the challenges brought on by the rising sea levels and increasingly higher flood effects. Using a power-point presentation the audience were enthralled by the visible effects of storm surges and flooding brought about by the heavy rains and storms. The pictures of a flooded Lami Town made all the rhetoric about the rising sea level a reality to the audience.
Ms Ieli’s passionate presentation went down well with the audience with the result that afterwards Mexico invited her to address their meeting also and repeat her presentation.
Fiji is proposing that UN organisations should promote this capacity building programs because it will allow people to be ready, willing and be able to meet the climate change challenges.
Lami won the award in the world for towns that have taken on the challenges of brought on by climate change and making some real gains.
This One-UN side event showcasing and discussing examples of innovative and successful capacity development projects and initiatives supported by the United Nations drawing upon lessons learned from these initiatives was followed by an open discussion which identified key lessons learned and explored opportunities to strengthen capacity development to address climate change. Apart from Ms. Ieli Fiji’s Director for Environment Mr Jope Davetanivalu represented Fiji at the panel discussion.
The Fiji presentation was amongst four country presentations on tangible capacity development projects/initiatives. Three of the presentations was on results from successful capacity development projects supported by UN organizations. The fourth was from a country participating in the 2011-2013 UN CC:Learn Pilot Implementation Phase which focused on addressing human resource and skills development challenges. The four projects are:
• Colombia: Joint Programme on the Integration of Ecosystems and Adaptation to Climate Change (FAO, UNOPS, UNDP, UNICEF)• Lami Town, Fiji: Cities and Climate Change Initiative (UN HABITAT)• Ethiopia: LEAP (Livelihoods, Early Assessment and Protection) (WFP)• Indonesia: Pilot Project to Strengthen Human Resource Capacities to Address Climate Change (UN CC:Learn)
(Photo caption 1:Lami Town Council Staff with CEO Ms Ieli (Middle row 3rd from left), caption 2:Mr Davetanivalu (5th from left) and Ms Ieli at the UN panel discussion)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji