PACAM Consultation Workshop
Facilitated by WWF-Pacific, the week-long consultations were carried out in seven villages in the district of Nacula under the WWF Pacific Programme Office, through its Strengthening Governance and Resource Management for Climate-Resilient Communities in Fiji project.
The 20 year district level sustainable development plan is a climate adaptation strategy. The process for developing it is the platform on which to discuss issues of unsustainable resource use, climate change adaptation, health, food security, risk assessment, especially now given the impact of Tropical Cyclone Winston.
The project is funded through the U.S Agency for International Development’s (US AID) Pacific-American Climate Fund or PACAM. It is a key initiative of the U.S. Government to assist Pacific countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Thirty-five participants from the respective communities are expected to attend these workshops.
Similar workshops were held for communities in the Nailaga District in Ba last week. For the Nacula District, the workshops are to kick start the formulation and drafting of a development plan with the local community representatives. The development plans will touch on focal areas that range from education, religion, health, water resources, energy, transportation, natural resource management and fundraising.
According to project manager, Mr. Vinesh Kumar, the consultation phase will set the platform for these communities to have a sustainable development plan in place.
“Basically, Nailaga has a plan that is in a draft form. For Nacula District there isn’t any plan yet. We are trying to get feedback from these communities that we are working with through the PACAM project.”
“Once we get the feedback we will continue to facilitate the members of Nailaga to formulate this plan and see where we can fill in the gaps and what we can be done to improve that in terms of the final document.”
“In Nailaga, WWF-Pacific has been working through an early initiative on the plan. So basically, there are a lot of governance issues; issues with river bank erosion; farming practices; issues concerning livelihoods, religious rights and waste disposals,” said Mr. Kumar.
Turaga-ni-yavusa-o-Vanuakula (Vanuakula Clan leader), Mr. Epeli Rainima adds the consultations will also strengthen collaborative partnerships with government and other stakeholders.
“Issues raised during the consultation yesterday will also enlighten those living in the villages on the various changes that are taking place and the need to adapt our ways to those changes. Most of the villagers here are still doing things the way it has been done from years before, and the discussions we’ve had so far will surely make them re-think this.”
“I’m glad that the consultations covered climate change, development safe-guarding our environment and because it’s made us realize that we need to ensure that they go hand-in-hand. If we are to ensure a sustainably managed future, we need to ensure those three elements are looked at and addressed together,” he said.
The sustainable development plans formulated in Nailaga and Nacula will be contextualized within Fiji’s Green Growth Framework.
PACAM grants are awarded to civil society organizations to support projects that reduce long-term vulnerabilities associated with climate change and to provide benefits through livelihood enhancement, food security, improved health, better governance and sustainable natural resources management.