Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
July 16, 2014
Fiji hopes to integrate disaster risk management and climate change as one.
FIJI is working towards integrating disaster risk management and climate change so that both issues can become the responsibility of one agency.
Fiji's Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan when representing Fiji to the United Nations first preparatory meeting for the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Genevaearly this week said that Fiji was highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Ambassador Khan delivered Fiji’s country statement on disaster risk reduction and on Fiji’s approach to the work plan of the World Conference. She said that Fiji was a small island State and highly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change and other natural disasters. She added that both climate change and natural disasters posed significant threats to the livelihood, security and wellbeing of Fijians.
Ambassador Khan said that Fiji had participated in a number of international and regional initiatives to reduce and manage the risk of disaster, and that such initiatives had resulted in review of Fiji’s Disaster Risk Management policies to include climate change. Such a review also included a consideration of vulnerable groups and in particular of the young, of women and those living with disabilities, in the formulation of national policies.
A meeting would be held in Fiji from August 25 to 29 2014 to try to harmonise and integrate the two programmes.
Ambassador Khan said that Fiji had recently established a Green Growth framework, as an advisory benchmark for the Fijian Government on environmental, economic and social issues which included climate change and disaster risk as thematic areas placed on an equal footing with none other issues. She also advised the United Nations PrepCom that two universities in Fiji, the University of the South Pacific and the Fiji National University, now offered post-graduate qualifications in disaster risk management and climate change.
She further said that in 2012 an entire village community had to be relocated from a traditional coastal location to higher ground as a result of collaboration between Government and the community. She confirmed Fiji’s commitment to improving its disaster risk management efforts and its effective response to the impact of climate change. She said that this was the only way to protect the future of our national sovereignty and the sustainability of our environment, for the sake of Fiji’s children.
Ambassador Khan and Mosese Sikivou of the Secretariat of Pacific Community represented Fiji to this PrepCom.
The PrepCom was held to work towards organising a work plan and structures for the World Conference to be held in Japan in 2015.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji