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Ministry seeks climate change assistance

Luke Rawalai
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

FIJI, through the Ministry of Provincial Development, will seek assistance from international agencies for funding of climate change mitigation programs.

Speaking during an interview in the North, ministry permanent secretary Alifereti Filipe said Fiji had provisions which allowed the country to apply for assistance from international agencies.

"There is a climate change fund but we are not sure whether it is available to us or not as we need to spend specifications," Mr Filipe said.

"We are currently working with funds provided to us by government but people can seek assistance from non governmental organisations while waiting for government to address their plea which may take a while.

"We are also eyeing the resilience program funded by the Australian Government and we need to put in our submissions in order to receive funding," he added.

Mr Filipe said so far only one village had been fully relocated by government at a cost of about $800,000.

He also said mitigation programs were in progess for the islands of Bau and Beqa.

"This involves the building of sea walls for sea level rise and coastal inundation.

"Proposals have been submitted for the relocation of 43 other villages around the country due to rising sea level.

"We are also carrying out works for mitigation programs in a school at Waciwaci Village in Lakeba."

Mr Filipe said out of the 43 identified, there may be other villages that were also feeling the effects of climate change.

"The 43 villages identified so far are all in a critical condition and this is why they have been identified by government.

"The cost of such programs depends on many factors, including the size of the village or settlement to be relocated and the location of sites where the relocation should take place."

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