Resilience core of Fiji’s plan

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has launched Fiji’s 20-year National Development Plan (NDP) that will ensure Fiji meets the Sustainable Development Goals and the commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Speaking at the Fiji Pavillion in Bonn, Germany as part of COP23, Mr Bainimarama said the development plan provided a forward-looking vision for transforming Fiji into an even more progressive, vibrant and inclusive society.

“Adaptation, resilience and mitigation are not just a part of our development plans, they form the very core,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama said the NDP was the result of a nation-wide consultation held in more than 800 public forums.

He said the NDP also required Fiji to continue to foster partnership and forge new ones to address climate change.

“All Fijians will have access to clean and safe drinking water in adequate quantities by 2031. We plan a major push to increase accessibility to 92 per cent of the population from the current 78 per cent in the next five years.

“We have scheduled projects to protect our freshwater sources and agricultural lands from salt water intrusion and protect our communities and critical national infrastructure from climatic events.”

Mr Bainimarama said as part of the NDP, Government planned to invest more in clean energy.

He said this was part of Fiji’s commitment to reducing its green house gas emission by 30 per cent in 2030.

“We will ensure that all Fijians have access to electricity by 2021 with renewable energy share of electricity generation reaching almost 100 per cent by 2030. In the next five years we plan three major hydro projects to boost renewable electricity supply on our largest island, Viti Levu, which is home to 70 per cent of Fiji’s population.

“We have another 178 potential sites for renewable energy sources like bio-mass, hydro, solar, wind, geo-thermal and ocean waves.”

With Fiji’s population expected to exceed 1.1 million in the next 20 years, Mr Bainimarama said the Government would implement climate change adaptation measures to ensure greater resilience to disaster. In addition there will be new building standards and innovative traffic management plans to ease congestion.

“We will need to improve the skills of our rural carpenters through focused training programs to enable them to build back better.

“We will improve our food security through the promotion of organic farming and increase production of traditional crops under programs for niche agricultural and fisheries products.”

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