DISCUSSIONS at the Pacific Islands climate forum will bring about valuable insight into how climate and weather forecasting can help Fiji prepare for considerable challenges in the future.
This was stated by the Minister for Local Government and Environment Colonel Samuela Saumatua during his address at the Pacific Islands climate forum at the Japan-Pacific ICT centre in USP yesterday.
Col. Saumatua said Fiji welcomed co-operation from the international community, the Pacific region and from friends and colleagues from the US, Australia, Germany, New Zealand and Canada who were present at the forum.
"Fiji continues to play a leadership role in the region and the world as Chair of G77 and China and is the first country in the region to adopt a national climate change policy," Col. Saumatua said.
"The national climate policy was adopted in March, 2012 and implementation is in progress."
He said Tropical Cyclone Evan's passage before Christmas reflected both Fiji's vulnerability and resilience.
"The Fiji Meteorological Service was able to issue warnings allowing us to prepare, no lives were lost with the passage of the most intense cyclone Fiji has ever experienced but the damage were extensive," he said.
"Fiji is still in the recovery stage and rehabilitation would be ongoing for some time.
"The total cost of the damage has increased to in excess of $75million, a sizeable sum for a small country like Fiji."
He said climate change was here to stay and that it was not going to improve.
"Therefore our preparedness for these disaster situations should be based on a worse case scenario and government can surely rely on this forum to improve its position as far as climate change and disasters are concerned," he said.