UNITED Nations Development Programme resident representative Knut Ostby has urged stakeholders to hear the voices of the community when dealing with climate issues.
"It is important that community level consultations continue through all stages of the project, including the idea stage, the design phase, the implementation and post-implementation stages," he said.
"We need to ensure the community's needs and priorities are captured and that the community voices and contributions are included so that a transformational change can materialise during and after the project."
Mr Ostby said it was important for stakeholders including UNDP to ensure community needs and priorities were not compromised.
"This means, for example, that the sustainable livelihood needs of a community must be reconciled with and integrated into the conservation agenda of our projects.
"Communities, including vulnerable groups, need to have strengthened capacity and need to be enabled to implement gender inclusive, up-scaled and replicated climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
"It is at the community level that the real impact will be shown and therefore this is also the place where investments in capacity need to take place."
Mr Ostby told climate change talks in Labasa that at national level, the government had taken positive approaches to dealing with climate change issues.
"As an example of national action, I take this opportunity to also congratulate the Fiji government in the formulation of the Republic of Fiji National Climate Change Policy this year."