Photo: OCHA ROP
Total number of IDPs, 31 December 2020 (IDMC)
Photo credits: OCHA/Danielle Parry
Following a multi-year process initiated by the Government in 2012, Fiji launched its national Planned Relocation Guidelines: A framework to undertake climate change related relocation at the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice (COP24) in December 2018. These guidelines, the first of their kind, outline principles and social safeguards to guide government assistance to Fijian communities who, as a measure of last resort, may need to relocate to new sites.
Learning from Communities in the Development of National Planned Relocation Guidelines in the Context of Climate Change
Over the past decade, several communities in Fiji undertook planned relocation processes without formal guidance and with little previous national experience. Relocation in Fiji is only pursued as a measure of last resort when all alternative adaptation options have been exhausted as ineffective or unfeasible. Abandoning traditional land has particularly profound cultural and spiritual implications for indigenous (i Taukei) communities, both for those who leave behind their land behind and for the communities that provide their land to another relocated community. With over 80 per cent of land in Fiji communally owned by the i Taukei communities, cultural and spiritual ties to the land inevitably play a prominent role in relocation processes. Thus, each early relocation processes had to navigate anew amidst complex social, cultural, economic and environmental issues, including tensions over land, identifying suitable sites, the dislocation of community members, and insufficient financial resources. This example explores how the Government engaged affected communities in the development of the Planned Relocation Guidelines. Learn more: Read more