WITH the impact of climate change taking its toll on small island states, there is a need for increased awareness at community level.
This was highlighted yesterday by the permanent secretary for iTaukei Affairs, Savenaca Kaunisela, as talks at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change entered its second and final week in Doha, Qatar.
Mr Kaunisela said climate change awareness and education were critical and have been raised at every forum and side meeting in Doha and very much relevant to the situation in Fiji.
"Increasing public awareness is an important element of Fiji's climate change policy," he said.
"The participation of the Fijian delegation at the Doha round of talks has sought to advance some of the outcomes from its national summit on climate change held in Labasa last month."
Mr Kaunisela said the challenge lay in the preparation and dissemination of information at national level and the ability to take it right down to the community level for people to understand.
"The translating of information into the vernacular languages and in simplifying the technical terms are very important as people need to understand the issue of climate change in order to mitigate or adapt to these changes," he said.
He told the convention workshops needed to be conducted in existing forums within the iTaukei Affairs such as the provincial councils, tikina councils, village councils and various meetings conducted at community level.
"These are communication channels and platforms that can be used to channel climate change information," Mr Kaunisela said.