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Fiji Time: 1:01 AM on Friday 18 April

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Traditional knowledge key in adaptation

Repeka Nasiko
Thursday, December 12, 2013

TRADITIONAL early warning systems used by ancestors to predict an incoming natural disaster have been an integral part of saving lives long before the introduction of technology.

This was the topic of discussion among villagers at a Pacific Community Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Partners in Community Development Fiji workshop at Nayavuira Village in Rakiraki on Tuesday night.

PCDRR community consultant Taina Naivalu told participants at the meeting to refer to traditional early warning systems while keeping track of weather bulletins.

Speaking in the iTaukei dialect, she said the traditional knowledge passed on through generations would assist where technology could not.

The consultant said technology could fail at certain times, which was why village elders had to depend on this traditional knowledge.

She added elders needed to also pass on this knowledge to the younger generation.

Mrs Naivalu said children were the next generation who would be affected by climate change.

PCDF project officer Watisoni Lalanavanua said traditional knowledge from elders was also key to helping children adapt to climate change.

"They have the knowledge and they have seen the changes themselves. Some have been here for more than 40 years and they witnessed the changes that occurred," he said.

For 71-year-old Werekoro Lutunaua, divulging his knowledge to the younger generation was a privilege.

The workshop ended yesterday at Nayavuira Village.