In our previous post “Framecad a Climate Adaptation Platform Partner Rebuilds a School in Fiji,” we shared how the company helped Fiji’s community build quickly resilient school buildings after they were hit by a Winston, a Category 5 hurricane in 2016.
Support for Fiji continues through the New Zealand government. New Zealand is giving $2 million to Fiji as a climate change relocation fund (Moir, 2020).
The $2million fund is from the $150 million climate change fund package that New Zealand earmarked to assist its Pacific Island nations neighbours (Moir, 2020).
Moir (2020) shares further information:
- New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern said that $98 million worth of projects have already been approved under the package which is a part of at least $300 million investment intended for climate-assistance in the next 3 years.
- The $2million assistance will go to the Fiji Trust Fund relocation, a fund to help relocate Fijians affected by climate change. Five communities have been moved already and further 42 applied for government support to move.
- New Zealand is the first country to contribute to the Fund after a request from Fijian PM Frank Bainimarama. It is hoped that the funding will encourage other countries to contribute as well.
- New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern in her speech says that climate change and other problems like infectious diseases, trans-national crimes are borderless challenges and demands a collective response (Moir, 2020).
How does climate change affect Fiji?
The COP23 Fiji article “How Fiji is Affected by Climate Change” presents the impacts of climate change on Fiji.
As one of the small islands nations in the Pacific Ocean surrounded by ocean waters and with no landmass or physical barriers protecting them against natural disasters that are being exacerbated by climate, it shares the same woes as with its neighbouring pacific island nations.
How Fiji is (n.d) states that islands in Fiji are experiencing the following:
- sea-level rise and salt intrusion that are destroying their crops and staples,
- increased ferocity of coastal floods that made portions of the island uninhabitable,
- rising temperatures are giving rise to food and water-borne diseases, and
- carbon pollution that causes ocean acidification is destroying its coral reefs – affecting its food supplies and economy.
Fiji is still a developing country and most of its residents are highly dependent on the land and ocean for its livelihood and economy.
The country still lacks the resources, sufficiency, and infrastructures to cope and deal with the challenges of climate change.
Any assistance and aid from developed countries and international institutions is a welcome relief to the Pacific Island nations that are struggling to cope and adapt to climate change.