The Fijian Government which is chairing this year’s Pacific Climate Change Roundtable, is pleased with the progress of discussions over the past three days.
The meeting started on Wednesday 3 July at the Sheraton Fiji Resort in Nadi, Fiji.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Political and Treaties Division director, Esala Nayasi said the meeting has progressed well as far as the Government of Fiji is concerned.
“It has been a good platform for the exchange of views and experiences and there is a lot that countries in the region can learn from one another. Sharing information throughout the region is always difficult, so these types of platforms can really assist us,” Mr Nayasi said.
“It is informal in nature, so it allows for interactive discussions and it is open to development partners and all relevant stakeholders. It’s an opportunity to put politics aside and talk climate change and how we can advance policies and strategies in our individual countries in order to better serve our communities.
“For us, there are a lot of lessons and good practices that we can learn from the experiences in other countries.”
A highlight of yesterday’s sessions was a review of the integrated approach being taken in Choiseul, Solomon Islands, under the Choiseul Integrated Climate Change Programme. The project aims to link activities across sectors, including agriculture, livestock, fisheries, forestry, education and meteorology, at the provincial and community levels.
“This is something Fiji is investigating further, the integrated approach at the provincial level. We would like to have a closer look at the concept in Solomon Islands and see how this model fits with what we are trying to achieve in Fiji,” Mr Nayasi said.
Various departments and levels of government in Pacific Island countries and territories are responding to climate change across multiple sectors, with assistance from intergovernmental agencies including the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and support from donors and development partners, such as the European Union, The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“A lot of line ministries are involved in climate change. It’s a cross-sectoral issue,” Mr Nayasi said.
“Coordination is the main issue for countries – this is what has been shared over the last few days. Coordination between different agencies, between different line divisions, coordination of climate change finances, coordination of activities – this is the problem that countries are facing. It has to be addressed because when there is no coordination, there is duplication.”
Mr Nayasi said he is now looking forward to seeing progress on integrating the climate change and disaster risk management agendas during the Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable which begins on Monday 8 July at the Sofitel Resort and Spa in Nadi, Fiji.