Tabuya reveals harsh realities of climate change in Fiji

Tabuya reveals harsh realities of climate change in Fiji

By Mikaele Liga
Tuesday 05/12/2023
PM Sitiveni Rabuka and Minister Tabuya are both representing Fiji at the COP28 negotiations [Image: Fiji Government]

Minister for Women, Children, and Social Protection Lynda Tabuya has revealed the harsh realities of extreme weather, rising sea levels, escalating ocean pollution and ecological disturbances, and says that Fiji represents dynamic ecosystems characterised by both resilience and vulnerability.

Tabuya addressed these issues during the critical discussion of the impacts of climate change in Dubai.

Tabuya says being a representative of Fiji and as a daughter of the Pacific she is honored to join the discussion on the impacts of climate crisis.

She says with Fiji being a cyclone-prone country and more vulnerable to factors of this nature such as temperatures rising and ocean waters warming, the conditions for cyclone formation and intensification become more favorable.

She adds the Pacific Ocean with its vast expanse and warm waters, has been a breeding ground for some of the most powerful cyclones in the world.

Tabuya says in these times of adversity, nature-based solutions emerge not just as strategies but as bonfires of hope.

Furthermore, their deep ecological heritage, provides a pathway towards balance, aligning the well-being of the communities with the health of the environment they depend on.

She emphasised that in Fiji and across the Pacific, their women and men have been guardians of an immense treasure trove of traditional environmental conservation knowledge, a legacy handed down across generations.

She says this indigenous wisdom, encompassing insights into our ecosystems, weather patterns, and methods for sustainable resource use, forms the very foundation of nature-based solutions and paves the way for resilient futures.

Tabuya adds nature-based solutions represent a comprehensive approach that utilises the natural capabilities of the environment to tackle both climate change and biodiversity decline in tandem. She says it serves as an important link, matching what the communities needs.

Tabuya says these crucial ecosystems are being restored mostly by women and the elderly, using traditional knowledge and Fiji's NBS approach to seawalls also showcases a harmonious blend of traditional ecological practices and modern climate adaptation strategies, establishing a model for environmentally sustainable coastal defense.

She says these innovative seawalls incorporate four natural elements mangrove hedges, boulders, soapstone and clay soil, and vetiver grass.

Tabuya says Fiji is firmly committed to passionately advocating for this cause and they stand resolute in their commitment to raising awareness, mobilizing action, and fostering international cooperation to tackle the urgent challenges posed by the climate crisis.

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