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$180.1 Million Allocated for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation

The Fijian Government is walking the talk on climate change and have made promising allocations for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

” As Fiji continues to progress on a development trajectory in line with its 5-Year and 20-Year National Development Plan, the adverse impacts of climate change continue to present the single greatest threat to our development aspirations.”

“Fiji remains on the frontlines of the global campaign for climate action through the leadership of our Honourable Prime Minister, Honourable Josaia Voreqe Bainarmama.”

“Following Fiji’s historic co-chairing of the first-ever UN Conference on Oceans and Presidency of COP23, Fiji is continuing to call for more ambitious global action in limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.”

Most recently, Fiji joined other Pacific Island countries in declaring that a climate crisis is upon the world, of a scale never before seen.

“Fiji plans to live out the same expectations it is demanding from the rest of the world. Domestically, it is imperative that all aspects of Fiji’s national development are sustainable, inclusive, resilient and low carbon. In the 2019-2020 financial year, Government will continue to invest in climate mitigation and adaptation projects to build climate resilience, reduce national greenhouse emissions and implement transformative environmental conservation initiatives,” said the budget report.

The total allocation towards climate related projects in 2019-2020 is $180.1 million which will fund 27 projects designated as climate adaptation and 8 as climate mitigation.

Fijian Economy Minister has introduced widespread new policies to combat climate change at the same time implementing adaptation plans.

Major Allocations for Climate-Related Expenditure

Ministry of Disaster Management and Meteorological Services: Increased emphasis will be placed on building community resilience to disaster risks through the upgrade of evacuation centres, installation of water level and rainfall equipment to better monitor flood prone areas and the replenishment of the Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Fund to provide urgent postdisaster assistance to affected communities ($2.9 million).

Climate Change and International Cooperation Division: The Government has partnered with the UK Space Agency on a project titled CommonSensing. The 3-year project is designed to support and build climate resilience and enhance decision making through the use of remote sensing technology. Specifically, it will strengthen national capacity to access climate finance and report on climate funds; strengthen national and regional climate action policy; reduce the impact of natural disasters and improve risk management and food security. The Fijian Government will provide co-funding for project support services ($200,000)

Ministry of Education Heritage and Arts: Building climate resilience of primary and secondary schools to address intermittent water supply perpetuated by increased dry weather patterns. Approximately 199 schools will receive 5,200 litre water tanks in 2019-2020 ($300,000).

Ministry of Housing and Community Development: The Koroipita Model Town project, implemented by Model Towns Charitable Trust, will build engineered and serviced subdivisions and cyclone-safe houses together with guidance and support for the advancement of poor families by way of a holistic and dynamic community development programme. Through the 2019-2020 National Budget, 15 acres of leased land adjacent to Koroipita will be developed as a fully serviced subdivision of 145 new houses using the Koroipita Model Town concept benefiting approximately 580 marginalised Fijians ($2.0 million).

Ministry of Women Children and Poverty Alleviation: The Construction of Fiji Barefoot College will see the establishment of the first-ever Women Solar Training Center in the Pacific envisaged to empower rural women to be solar engineers and build local capacity through electrifying poor off grid communities with clean low-cost solar energy solutions ($750,000). Department of Energy: Installation and maintenance of solar home systems for rural off grid communities enabling access to renewable and affordable electricity to rural communities around Fiji. This includes rehabilitation of solar home systems damaged by natural disasters. ($8.4 million).

Ministry of Forestry: Funding allocated for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest 3 The Fijian Government | 2019 – 2020 Budget Highlights Degradation (REDD+) programme, a global mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and other reforestation projects, given that forests can mitigate the effects of climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere ($490,700).

Water Authority of Fiji: Improving the capacity, reliability and resilience of water supply infrastructure around the country through the Water Distribution System Project. The project will improve aging infrastructure and improve the reliability and safety of water supply during peak hours and in times of natural disasters ($25.2 million).

Fiji Roads Authority: Upgrading and construction of road infrastructure, including bridges, urban and peri-urban roads, to modern engineering standards that can withstand severe effects of climate change ($88.8 million). Ministry of Economy: Rehabilitation and construction of schools and public buildings severely damaged by tropical cyclones Winston, Gita, Josie and Keni. Rehabilitation works include rebuilding to higher cyclone resilient engineering standards ($35.0 million).

The Bainimarama government remains committed to climate action.

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