OVER the years, Fiji has experienced and witnessed many disaster risk programs that have been introduced and can be tagged as best practices during a disaster.
The practices need to be nurtured and encouraged so that gaps on disaster risk management and climate change are discussed and addressed.
And one of the ways in which those issues could be addressed was through youth participation in the country, says Fiji Red Cross Society youth co-ordinator Sevuloni Ratu.
"With our experience at Fiji Red Cross, we have youth volunteers working during disasters and youths contribute the most during the critical stage of a disaster," Mr Ratu said at the National Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change workshop held in Suva this week.
"Youths are already doing a lot in addressing issues on disaster risk reduction and so we need more to be part of national platforms such as this so they can promote climate change adaptation in their communities.
"Youths can play an important role in leading their communities in creating awareness on the effects of climate change and in creating positive changes within their communities.
"Youths are good educators as they can make the public better understand about how the environment needs to be conserved for future generation."
Mr Ratu said youths could easily relate or persuade their peers and their families to take charge of protecting the environment.
"During a disaster, youths do a lot of volunteer work in helping those that are vulnerable."