FIJI, among all Pacific island countries, topped the highest cost of damage and losses from disasters, totalling about $1.2billion over the past 30 years.
Minister for Works Captain Timoci Natuva revealed this in his official address at the opening of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change at Novotel Convention Centre in Lami yesterday, saying this challenge meant a lot of work to be done in Fiji.
"We must promote inclusive and integrated approach within government sectors and also outside. We must improve our networking at all levels," Capt Natuva said.
"We must align ourselves to the aspirations of government that are drawn and aligned to our regional and international mandates."
He said it was timely that stakeholders were present at the national platform to deliberate, discuss and contribute towards a way forward that will provide Fiji with a positive approach to tackle disaster risk and climate change.
"The collaborative approach of regional and international partners who are here with us will enrich the discussions from their perspectives.
"We all know the impact of natural hazards to our shores and outer islands and communities. We are aware of the escalating costs of damage and loss after disaster events."
He said a good number of coastal villages and settlements were requesting government for relocation because of climate change effect.
He hopes the platform will reshape people's thinking and change their mind-set towards their approach to disaster risks and climate change.