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Adapting Fiji’s development strategy to climate change

Naraya Carrasco's picture
Adapting Fiji's development strategy to the impacts of climate change

It’s been nearly two and a half years since Tropical Cyclone Winston – the biggest storm ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere – made landfall in Fiji, killing 44 people and costing the country nearly a third of its gross domestic product. 

For the small island developing state with ambitious development goals, Winston cast the spotlight on the threat that natural hazards, exacerbated by climate change, pose to the country’s development prospects.

“We cannot achieve our development agenda without climate sensitizing and disaster sensitizing our development plan,” explains Vineil Narayan, Climate Finance Specialist with Fiji's Ministry of Economy.

In an effort to adapt the country’s development strategy to climate and disaster risk, the government of Fiji has since pioneered a first-of-its-kind climate vulnerability assessment. The assessment takes into account economic losses across sectors, effects on the government’s development plan, and the impact on people’s well-being.

Supported by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), through its Small Island State Resilience Initiative (SISRI), and the World Bank, the vulnerability assessment has helped the Fijian government better quantify and understand the country’s vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters, and is already prioritizing actions for resilient development over the next decade.

In this video interview from the 2018 Understanding Risk Forum, hosted by GFDRR and the World Bank, Narayan sheds light on how the assessment is positioning Fiji for more sustainable and resilient development.

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