Located in the South Pacific, Fiji is comprised of over 300 islands with a population of around 900,000 people. Fiji is one of the first Pacific Island countries to begin to relocate people as a result of climate change, and the Fiji government have a number of policies and plans related to climate change and migration.
So far, projects which seek to assist communities facing climate change tend to focus on climate change adaptation, environmental conservation as well as responding to natural disasters. In Fiji, and across the Pacific region, there is a need for a more holistic approach to environmental change, humanitarian action and conflict, and how it affects people’s access to resources, physical environments, settlement and economic opportunities and livelihoods, as well as social, community and spiritual life.
We work with our partners - Transcend Oceania, the Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding, and the Toda Peace Institute - to address the growing social, political and environmental conflict risks associated with climate change and climate mobility in Fiji and to support communities facing relocation to mitigate and resolve conflicts which arise.
Simplistic assumptions are often offered about the impact of climate change upon community life in the Pacific Islands, yet in reality the impacts are mixed and complex. Through engaging in dialogue processes, we are able to better understand community perspectives on climate change, displacement and conflict, as well as the social, spiritual and cultural implications.
We’re working with our partners to develop analysis tools which will support communities to prepare for future threats. This work will include supporting a range of community leaders and members to engage in dialogue processes, conflict analysis, capacity building and advocacy. The aim is to enable communities to engage with local government on processes that support climate change adaptation, relocation and other development needs.
In this work we are applying an adaptive approach, that seeks to capture learnings to inform national and international thinking. This means beginning with listening to community perspectives, designing the right tools to assist communities with future planning. It also means presenting research findings to communities and working alongside them to learn and adapt to their peacebuilding needs, and where appropriate sharing our learnings with national and international policymakers.
Climate change poses a threat to the wellbeing of many Pacific Islands communities. At the same time climate change also offers an opportunity to advocate for the increased use of peacebuilding approaches and to challenge the existing structures in society which produce inequality, conflict and violence.
Conciliation Resources gratefully receives support from the New Zealand Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and the European Union (EU) for peacebuilding, climate change and relocation programming. The contents of this webpage are the sole responsibility of Conciliation Resources and do not necessarily reflect the views of the New Zealand Government or the European Union.