‘No Fault Of Any Fijian’

‘It is a global responsibility, wealthy nations need to up global commitments!’
11 Nov 2022 17:22
‘No Fault Of Any Fijian’
Pacific Island leaders sitting (second from left) Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr Satyendra Prasad, (sitting fourth from left) Pacific Climate Finance & Climate-Ocean Nexus Champion, Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown, Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Henry Puna, Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific Pat Conroy and COP26 President Alok Sharma with pacific leaders and youths at the COP27 Pavilion at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on November 9, 2022. Photo: Supplied

We cannot be talking about loss and damage for another 10 years, richer nations need to raise their global commitments, and raise it now.

This was the stern sentiment made by Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr Satyendra Prasad, who is representing the Fijian Prime Minister and Pacific Islands Forum Chair, Voreqe Bainimarama, at the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

Mr Prasad made the statement after he was questioned on Fiji’s position following the adoption of an agenda to introduce loss and damage funding as an agenda item at COP27, for the first time ever this year.

He said loss and damage occurred where adaptation was no longer possible.


“Look from the Fijian perspective, we have had to relocate several Fijian’ communities in Fiji, and we have earmarked the relocation of many more communities as the resources become available,” he said.

“Because building seawalls, improving waterways and raising existing seawalls are no longer an option. This is a very important message and our message to major polluters and emitters: It is a moral responsibility.

“This is no fault of the vulnerable Fijian communities who have lived for centuries in their villages.”

He said it was a consequence of sea level rise that families needed to be relocated.


“The point we are making is that this is a global responsibility and leaders need to act now.

“Loss and damage is the window through which the cost of this relocation can be addressed in a substantive way.”

He said loss and damage would also, in time, have a variety of traditional and cultural impacts.

“For example, it will affect people’s burial grounds, the rise in sea levels. Not everything is financial, we will have to look at all aspects of society, their culture, livelihoods, etc


“We cannot be talking about loss and damage for 10 to 20 more years, we need to raise our global commitments and have a very positive outcome that allows for this facility to be operationalised.”

He said Fiji was proud that Loss and damage had been placed on the agenda of the meeting.

Dr Prasad also welcomed the $20million that New Zealand has committed for loss and damage.




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