Climate crisis affects rights

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Riverbank erosion near Sawani Village in Naitasiri. The report states that climate crisis has affected sanitation and access to clean water. Picture: NICK SAS/ FILE

Arabale land salination, floods, riverbank erosion, coral bleaching and pollution caused by ind ustrial activities had worsened human rights conditions in Fiji in 2021.

A survey released by Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI) stated that the climate crisis had greatly worsened human rights conditions in Fiji.

Respondents to the survey were asked to provide more context about how the climate crisis worsened human rights conditions last year.

“Salination of arable land, floods, and riverbank erosion destroyed local farms and impacted local food production,” the HRMI report stated.

“Commercial farming has also been affected, notably sugarcane, one of Fiji’s national exports.

“Coral bleaching has contributed to food insecurity.

“The climate crisis has affected sanitation and access to clean water.”

Respondents said storms, droughts, and tropical cyclones had worsened and wrising sea levels had forced people in low-lying areas to relocate.

“Continued pollution caused by industrial activity, and rubbish disposal from hotels and shipping vessels aggravate the conditions.

“The climate crisis has increased social unrest in the form of child neglect and has exacerbated gender inequality.”

The HRMI survey found there was a risk of violence against the vulnerable groups in evacuation centres.

“Diseases have also been on the rise due to climate crisis,” the New Zealandbased organisation stated.

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