Fiji Reaffirms Commitment to the Climate Action Momentum

The global efforts to cut emissions, prepare for disasters, and manage displaced people are all inter-connected; none can succeed without the others, that is why all of those issues sit at the heart of Fiji’s climate action agenda.

This message was conveyed today by the Fijian Prime Minister, Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama while delivering a statement at the virtual forum on the 5th year anniversary of the Paris Agreement, Sendai Framework and the Nansen initiative.

Prime Minister Bainimarama said the Paris Accords, the Nansen initiative and Sendai Framework together with the global commitments promise humanity a better future, and 5 years from their adoptions, it is crucial to collectively reflect on the progress and best way forward.

“And one country, company, and community at a time, humanity is taking steps to decarbonize and become more disaster-resilient. The USA is not only back in this campaign, they are moving aggressively to make climate action a core priority of the new Administration. More countries and companies are announcing actionable commitments to reach net-zero in a few decades – including France and the EU.

“Some of the more vulnerable communities are finding their own ways to adapt – some are relocating. Others are being defended by seawalls. And past tragedies are informing better disaster planning and motivating world leaders, business executives, and entire institutions to build back better after disasters strike,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said.

Reaffirming Fiji’s commitment to climate actions, Prime Minister Bainimarama said, “We pledge to achieve economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050 – and that commitment will soon be legislated through a ground-breaking climate change Bill. Our National Adaptation Plan maps out a multi-billion-dollar effort to strengthen our climate resilience.

“Our commitment to plant 30 million trees and sustainably manage every square kilometre of our ocean by 2030 could very well mean Fiji becomes a carbon-negative society in the not-too-distant future. And our rapidly-strengthening disaster readiness has led Fiji to become the first nation to achieve Target E of the Sendai Framework.”

The Head of Fijian Government stated Fiji has also begun establishing its own transparent and inclusive processes for managing climate-induced relocation.

“We have identified at least 43 communities that need to be relocated to higher ground due to worsening climate impacts, with six moved already. We have developed and launched the Planned Relocation Guidelines to give affected communities a powerful voice in where, when, and how they are relocated, and ensure that they have clear-income generating opportunities available. And we have launched a Climate Relocation Trust Fund to put badly-needed resources behind that effort.” We’ve dealt with questions that only real experiences can expose, and that only bold and innovative action can solve.

Prime Minister Bainimarama said that working in solidarity to initiate innovative actions is crucial in maintaining the momentum to tackle the challenges posed by climate change.

“I’ve had the privilege of personally handing keys over to families to homes on higher ground after their old houses were lost to a rising Pacific. I know first-hand that, even in our warming world, strong commitments – backed by resources and hard work – can bring hope back into the lives of the most vulnerable of our citizens,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said.

(Source: The Fijian Government, 04 February 2021)

https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/News/FIJI-REAFFIRMS-COMMITMENT-TO-THE-CLIMATE-ACTION-MO

Yaqona, Dalo, Cassava, Goat, Sheep, Bees – Top Crop and Livestock Causalities of TC Yasa, Parliament Informed 3-Phase Response and Rehabilitation Plan Developed

Yaqona, dalo, cassava, watermelon and chillies were the top five crops affected following TC Yasa, was one of the findings in the Detailed Damage Assessment (DDA).

Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, the Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy told Parliament on Monday (8.2.21) the top five livestock that suffered the highest casualties and injuries were goat, sheep, bees, cattle and horses.

“Total damages to the agriculture sector recorded a value of more than $147m, out of which 94per cent were value of damages on crop, 5.4per cent on livestock and 0.6per cent on infrastructure,” he said.

He said on Zone 1, which was the most affected area according to the cyclone path, crop planting area damage recorded was more than 50per cent of total area and captured value of dead livestock at around $5.2m.

“These findings require a rapid response and a well-coordinated rehabilitation plan to ensure Fijians livelihoods are properly restored,” the Hon. Dr Reddy explained.

Therefore, he said, as lead agency for food security and livelihood cluster, the Ministry was tasked with designing a response and rehabilitation plan for the next six months post TC Yasa for crop, livestock, fisheries and forest sector.

He said a three-phase plan was then developed.

“Phase One was designed to cover the first six weeks after disaster, and included immediate food security plan that targeted over 23,000 households.
“This included some of the work carried out straight after TC Yasa such as distribution of seed packages, kumala and bele cuttings etc.”

Minister Reddy explained Phase 2 covered life-saving rehabilitation plan, sought the rapid recovery of Fiji’s rural productive sector by targeting almost 14,000 agriculture households and prioritized subsistence and semi-commercial farmers that had lost 75per cent or more of their stock.

“It consists of six components – provision of planting material and tools, land clearing and preparation, rehabilitation of infrastructure and repair to farm roads.

“The plan also highlight Fisheries and Forestry area of priorities.”

The Hon. Minister said the third phase of the response and resilience plan facilitated the transition to sustainable development that ensured Fiji was better prepared and resilient to the effects of future natural disasters and climate change.

(Source: The Fijian Government, 10 February 2021)

https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/News/YAQONA,-DALO,-CASSAVA,-GOAT,-SHEEP,-BEES-TOP-CROP

Over 23,000 Households Needed Immediate Assistance Following TC Yasa, Parliament Hears

Following TC Yasa, an estimated 23,725 households in Zones 1 and 2 were identified to have needed immediate assistance, revealed Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, Dr Mahendra Reddy in his Ministerial Statement to Parliament on Monday (8.2.21).

The Minister provided an update to the House on the assistance provided by the Ministry of Agriculture following TC’s Yasa and Ana.

He revealed the immediate assistance rendered to affected households was made following the findings from the Initial Damage Assessment (IDA) where after 72 hours of TC Yasa, the Ministry recommended the provision of three months food ration to NDMO for households in Zone 1 and 2.

“In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture commenced the immediate food security response which included the distribution of vegetable seed packages for home gardening, root crop cuttings, and other planting materials targeting household in Zones 1 and 2, which is estimated to be 23,725 households,” he told the House.

Minister Reddy said over 19,000 affected households were provided home gardening seed packages, over 7,000 households received kumala and bele cuttings, and 2,000 households given cassava cuttings as part of the Ministry of Agriculture’s immediate response within six weeks post TC Yasa.

“In addition, the Ministry distributed live chicks, starter and growers to more than 1,000 poultry farmers and over three metric tonnes of sugar to 190 bee farmers to assist in the rehabilitation of their stock.

“Due to significant loss of livestock from TC Yasa, vets from our livestock division were deployed through mobile clinics to provide immediate free veterinary services to affected livestock farmers.

He said as part of the Ministry’s early intervention, this veterinary team provided free services to livestock farmers, including the provision of free veterinary medication, and helping with the rehabilitation of their livestock.

Minister Reddy revealed, it was the first time that the Ministry’s TC Yasa Detailed Damage Assessment (DDA) collected data via hand-held devices using the online Kobo Toolbox software application.

“This online system ensured the timely collation of DDA data at Headquarters during assessment period. The survey captured over 19,000 household interviews from affected farmers which comprehensively assessed the impact of TC Yasa,” the Hon. Dr Reddy explained.

(Source: The Fijian Government, 10 February 2021)

https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/News/OVER-23,000-HOUSEHOLDS-NEEDED-IMMEDIATE-ASSISTANCE

Climate Change a Real Threat to the Pacific – PM Bainimarama

Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama delivered a powerful statement at the opening of the Virtual Pacific Regional Consultation on Internal Displacement earlier this evening, saying that climate change also contributes to mass-migration across our region.

Prime Minister Bainimarama said that every year, more of our citizens will be forced to leave their homes to escape stronger storms, rising seas, and swelling rivers brought by climate change.

“It is a crisis we did not cause but the consequences of which we bear nonetheless. Some of our lower-lying neighbors face an existential threat. At the current rate of emissions, the displacement of their people won’t be internal but external, across borders, as their entire nations slip beneath the rising seas.”

For this reason, the Prime Minister said Fiji has offered permanent settlement to the citizens of Tuvalu and Kiribati should they need it.

On the home front, Prime Minister Bainimarama said that we’re focused on the complex challenge of relocating vulnerable Fijian communities, with 43 already identified.

“You can bet that number will rise. Six communities have been fully or partially relocated so far. Moving a community and doing it sustainably; ensuring Fijians can live with both security and the dignity of good jobs and access to essential services – that is how we can spark a sense of ownership among people who have endured the trauma of leaving the land they knew as home, the land where their ancestors are buried and which they hoped their children would inherit,” he added.

Prime Minister Bainimarama also highlighted at the virtual consultation, Fiji’s milestone achievement in launching the world’s first Planned Relocation Guidelines at the COP24 and the launch of a relocation fund for people displaced by climate change in 2019.

“Our National Adaptation Plan also maps out a multi-billion-dollar effort to strengthen our climate resilience and we’re looking to nature to fortify communities and create sustainable sources of income.

“Climate-driven displacement isn’t some distant doomsday proposition. It is happening right now. In response, we have to change and adapt as quickly as the climate. To do that, we need the support of the rest of the world and as the Chair for the Platform of Disaster Displacement, Fiji looks forward to leading alongside our development partners and organisations, like the Pacific Climate Change Migration and Human Security, not by talking – but by doing.”

The virtual consultation presents an opportunity for Pacific government officials to exchange their country experiences in addressing climate and disaster-induced internal displacement.

(Source: The Fijian Government, 11 February 2021)

https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/News/CLIMATE-CHANGE-A-REAL-THREAT-TO-THE-PACIFIC-PM-BAI

Video message – New Year Greetings from HE Mr. Isikeli Mataitoga, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Fiji to Japan

The coronavirus pandemic forced the Governor of Tokyo to cancel the “Tokyo Ambassadors Night,” a New Year’s reception which the Tokyo Metropolitan Government holds every year. This year, Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga was honoured to represent the diplomatic corps in Tokyo, and delivered a New Year greetings and words of encouragement to the citizens of Tokyo.

Please click the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU0rHjb-4_Y

TROPICAL CYCLONE YASA RELIEF APPEAL

The Embassy of the Republic of Fiji in Tokyo has set up a Tropical Cyclone Yasa Relief Fund Account, to assist the people of Fiji, who have been badly affected by the most horrific cyclone destruction.

Tropical Cyclone Yasa, a category 5 storm cyclone, brought gusts of wind of up to 345km per hour, causing flooding and landslides. Fiji’s second-largest island Vanua Levu and coastal areas of many islands were impacted by storm surges and flooding during the height of the storm on the 17th December 2020.

In the aftermath of the cyclone and flooding, there has been a loss of lives, many people left homeless, massive destruction of buildings, schools, hospitals, public infrastructure and businesses, villages and some maritime islands were flattened, and livelihoods destroyed. The full cost of the damage suffered by the people of Fiji will not be known for a few weeks as the relief assessment teams are currently working hard with the limited resources they have and with the assistance from donor countries to span the whole of affected Fiji. However, the cost of damage is estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars. It was the strongest storm in the basin since TC Winston in 2016 and the strongest in the cyclone season 2020-21.

The relief donations will be used to rebuild the lives of the many people across Fiji who suffered the cyclone’s drastic devastation to their homes and livelihood. Notable schools in Bua, Macuata, Cakaudrove in Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Yasawa, and Southern Lau have suffered severe damage to classrooms, teachers’ quarters, textbooks, school resources, etc. These schools are needed to be rebuilt now, forcing many students to find alternative schools to continue their studies as reconstruction work on these schools would take 1 to 2 years to complete. Also, many affected students would be without school stationery and uniforms.

The Bank and the Bank Account details in which you may deposit your financial donation is as follows:

Account Number: 3043244

Account Name: FET NATURAL DISASTER RELIEF APPEAL FUND

Name of Bank: Mizuho Bank (Savings)

Branch Name: Kamiyacho Branch

It is anticipated that most people in Vanua Levu and rural maritime islands will be without homes. More than 3,206 people are still living in evacuation centers. Initial damage assessment, which was completed on 28 December by the Commissioner Northern Division, reveals that 6,000 houses were partially damaged while 1,500 houses were damaged entirely caused by flooding, storm surge, and destructive winds in the wake of TC Yasa. Many houses are needed to be rebuilt and will require emergency shelter (tarpaulins and toolkits) and essential household items assistance (clothing, kitchen sets, solar lamps, blankets), as well as appropriate technical assistance. According to the Ministry of Education Fiji assessment, close to 85 schools in TC Yasa affected areas have sustained damages.

As a result of massive damage to agricultural areas on Yasawa-i-rara, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, and Maritime Islands, including Koro, Cicia, Moce, Komo, which is home to many farmers, food security has also been impacted as livestock and farms have been destroyed.

The core expense of the Government’s rehabilitation and reconstruction work is three-pronged which encompass (i) provisions of basic needs (food, shelter, water, accessibility, livelihood, health, and sanitation; (ii) restoration of essential service (roads, ports, jetties, airfields, water electricity, communication, education, continuity of Government machinery); and (iii) economic recovery (infrastructure, utilities, tourism sector, private sector, agriculture, fisheries, and forestry).

Thank you most sincerely for your goodwill and generosity to help.

TC Yasa Loloma Package Launch

The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management in collaboration with the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service and Fiji Airways have launched the “TC Yasa Loloma Package” which provides a 30% discount for organisations, groups and individuals living abroad to send disaster relief items to Fiji with Fiji Airways.
 
The 30% discount on market cargo rates is applicable for consignment of relief items from Auckland, Sydney, and Los Angeles. The offer is valid until January 15, 2021 and is dependent on the availability of space on the flights.
The package complements the duty concession on disaster relief goods announced earlier by the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service.  The concession includes exemption from VAT, Fiscal Duty and Import Excise.

The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management is grateful to the Management teams of the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service and Fiji Airways for their commitment to reduce costs that will enable Fijians and friends of Fiji living abroad to send relief items.
 
There are two options of delivery offered as part of the Loloma Package. The first is for NDMO to receive and distribute the relief items on behalf of the sender. The second is for a NDMO certified donor in Fiji to receive and distribute the items.
 
More details and the online form for the Loloma Package are available on the NDMO website www.ndmo.org.fj. Queries can be sent to ndmofiji.media@gmail.com

https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/News/TC-YASA-LOLOMA-PACKAGE-LAUNCH

National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) Issues Letter of Certification – Fundraising Collection for TC Yasa Victims

https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/News/NDMO-ISSUES-LETTERS-OF-CERTIFICATION

Employment Opportunity – Embassy of the Republic of Fiji in Tokyo

PERSONAL ASSISTANT/ CONFIDENTIAL SECRETARY TO AMBASSADOR required by the Embassy of the Republic of Fiji in Tokyo.

Position-Description-Personal-Assistant-Confidential-Secretary-to-Ambassador

All applications to include an up-to-date Curriculum Vitae (CV), at least two referees with one being the current or recent supervisor and a covering letter of no more than two pages, which explains how you meet each of the selection criteria. Applications that do not address the selection criteria will not be considered.

An attractive salary will be offered to the above position.

Closing date of Vacancy: Friday, 25 December 2020

Queries and applications are to be addressed to Mr Ashneel Shankar, Second Secretary, via email: ashneel.shankar@fijiembassy.jp or phone: +81-3-3587-2038.