NATION

Migration Policies Needed For Relocation: Vuniwaqa

Director for Immigration Nemani Vuniwaqa says they will need to start looking at policies in case people affected by climate change in some island countries across the region start relocating
27 Jun 2018 12:16
Migration Policies Needed For Relocation: Vuniwaqa
The Director for Immigration, Nemani Vuniwaqa welcomes participants at the opening of the 21st Pacific Immigration Directors Annual Conference at Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa on Denarau Island in Nadi on 26 June 2018. PHOTO: ARIETA VAKASUKAWAQA

Director for Immigration Nemani Vuniwaqa says they will need to start looking at policies in case people affected by climate change in some island countries across the region start relocating to Fiji.

He will chair the 21st Pacific Immigration Directors Annual Conference where they will deliberate issues of immigration in a strictly closed series of meetings in the next two days.

Giving an example , Mr Vuniwaqa said Kiribati was one of the island nations deeply affected by climate change as they start to lose their heritage had already bought  a piece of land in Fiji.

“We need to look at policies. If people of Kiribati relocate to Fiji will they take up the status of Fiji citizens or should they meet the requirements; we need to come out with policies,” Mr Vuniwaqa said.

“It is really an issue we need to look into and prepare ourselves.

“We would rather be reactive than to panic when it happens and start looking for ways to combat it when it happens.

“For us at immigration, we are already looking into ways to cover all these areas

“If they come it’s going to be an immigration issue and it is important for the Government to prepare for it.”

As the meeting chair, Mr Vuniwaqa said the name of the conference would be changed to Pacific Immigration Development Community and that the secretariat would be based in Samoa.

He said they came up with the conference theme, which was Climate Change and Migration, because it was a real threat to the Pacific.

“People are moving around, if they move from country to another like Tuvalu and Kiribati because they are under threat that is migration,” Mr Vuniwaqa said.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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