Impacts of climate change present serious threats

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New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Charlotte Darlow and Finance Ministry Assistant Minister Esrom Immanuel at the launch of the the Climate Relocation of the Communities’ Trust Fund – Financial Management Policy Guidelines and Information Briefs in Suva. Picture: FIJI GOVERNMENT

The impacts of climate change on vulnerable low lying and coastal areas will present serious threats to the ability of land to support human life and livelihood, forcing communities to move away from their homes and ancestral lands, says Finance Ministry Assistant Minister Esrom Immanuel.

He made the following statement while launching the Climate Relocation of the Communities’ Trust Fund – Financial Management Policy Guidelines and Information Briefs in Suva on Friday.

“The lives and livelihoods of our communities are increasing endangered as these events increase in severity as communities are no longer safe and some see relocations as their only option,” he said.

He says any well-planned relocation process is a costly exercise which is why the Climate Relocation Communities Trust Fund serves to directly fund planned relocation activities which would be done through assessments, studies, and infrastructural support.

“The development of these guidelines and briefs, reflects Fiji’s efforts and commitment to drive the mobilisation of climate finance and to channel it where it matters the most – our climate vulnerable communities.

“The Climate Relocation Communities Trust Fund provides an avenue to invest in the relocation process of vulnerable communities in Fiji.”

Mr Immanuel added relocation projects undertaken in Fiji indicated that the cost of relocating a community can cost from one to three million Fijian dollars. He called on developed countries and partners to step up with their climate financing commitments.

New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Charlotte Darlow reiterated its support towards supporting Fiji in terms of financing and technical expertise.

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