AGRICULTURE is the second largest emitting sector and the highest source of methane emissions in the country.
Methane emission in the sector largely comes from livestock farming and rice cultivation. This was revealed by the Prime Minister’s Office after Cabinet endorsed project deliverables under the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT) project.
A release issued after Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting stated that ICAT aimed to finance and work with countries to build domestic capacity to develop and enhance their greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories and assess the impact of climate policies and actions. “Although Fiji contributes almost insignificantly to total world GHG emissions, the country has always advocated for urgent response and committed to do its part in the global fight to combat climate change,” the release stated.
“Fiji’s main GHG emission source is carbon dioxide coming from the energy sector hence most of Fiji’s mitigation effort is focused on renewable energy and often overlooks the agriculture sector.
“Agriculture is the second largest emitting sector and the highest source of methane emissions in the country. Methane emission in the sector largely comes from livestock farming and rice cultivation.
“At present, the Ministry of Agriculture lacks a database and internal capacity for collecting, analysing and reporting GHG data. There are also no current climate change mitigation policies in place associated with the agriculture sector.”
The PM’s Office also clarified that past national communication reports were prepared by external consultants due to the lack of in-country capacity.
And different professionals penning such reports had led to inconsistencies in each submission, with no institutional knowledge developed and retained within the Fiji Government, particularly in the agriculture sector.
“The Ministry of Agriculture expressed its interest in filling this gap and together with the Climate Change Division, approached the ICAT Secretariat for support to strengthen Fiji’s agricultural GHG inventory and build national capacity in doing so. Fiji was selected to receive the ICAT support in March, 2020.
“Through this project, ICAT has supported the Fiji Government to develop and establish an overarching institutional arrangement for the Ministry of Agriculture to effectively monitor, verify and report agricultural livestock and rice cultivation GHG emissions.
“As a result, the following deliverables have been completed under the project: The Guidance Document and Manual for the Fiji Agriculture Livestock and Rice Cultivation, The Agriculture Policy Assessment for Fiji, and The National Inventory Systems Guideline.” A budget of $US168,998 ($F376,645) was provided for this project, of which $US86,530.27 was utilised.
The remaining portion of the budget would be used to support capacity development of the agricultural data collection officers. Founded in 2015 by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and the German and Italian Ministry for the Environment and the Climate Works Foundation, Fiji’s ICAT project was launched by Climate Change Division on November 28 in 2021.
It was implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the Ministry of Agriculture.