NEWS

Focus On Climate Adaptation, Says Sayed-Khaiyum

While funds are available for climate mitigation project, adaptation to climate change is largely left unfunded. This was one of the points highlighted by the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy,
08 Apr 2017 11:00
Focus On Climate Adaptation, Says Sayed-Khaiyum
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (left) and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the Grand Pacific Hotel on April 7, 2017. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

While funds are available for climate mitigation project, adaptation to climate change is largely left unfunded.

This was one of the points highlighted by the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, at yesterday’s panel discussions during the High-Level Pacific Island Dialogue on Building Resilience to Natural Disasters and Climate Change at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.

He also highlighted the lack of insurance covers on private properties in Fiji which covers natural disasters. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said building resilience was an issue which Pacific Island nations needed to focus on.

He said people in Christchurch, New Zealand were able to bounce back faster after the 2011 earthquake, and the fact that more than 80 per cent of private properties were insured played a significant role.

During a question about how Government balanced building resilience and budgeting on sectors such as health and education and whether focusing on one hindered the other, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it should not be a matter of one or the other.

“In fact I don’t think we should take such a dichotomous approach,” he said.

He said there could be two types of resilience – broader economic base and physical resilience of the infrastructure.

While giving the example of how close to 7000 kilometres of electricity cables fell or broke during Tropical Cyclone Winston, he spoke about the approach Fiji took.

Electricity lines along the newly-built four lane road near the Nadi International Airport are underground. This came at an additional cost of $20 million but Mr Sayed-Khaiyum explained that it was needed.

He explained that Government had to factor in whether the next cyclone or storm that hits Fiji would again affect the FEA cables and having them underground, while at a cost, would ensure that further damage through cyclones would be avoided.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj


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