European Union External Action

The European Union and Live&Learn build socio-economic resilience to climate change in the northern communities of Fiji

21/09/2020 - 04:39
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Today the European Union (EU) and Live&Learn launched the “Ecosystems-Based Climate Adaptation Project” (ECAP) at the Labasa Civic Centre in Vanualevu. The project was inaugurated by the EU Ambassador, His Excellency Sujiro Seam, in the presence of the Minister for Waterways & Environment, Hon. Dr. Dr. Mahendra Reddy. Key Government stakeholders and local communities also attended the event.

ECAP is a targeted 3-year development intervention (2020-2022), implemented by Live & Learn Environmental Education Fiji, with a funding of FJD 1.62 million. Its overall objective is to build local socio-economic resilience to climate change in vulnerable communities in the Northern Division of Fiji. ECAP targets 75 villages in the Provinces of Cakaudrove, Bua and Macuata and aims to benefit an estimated 71,000 Fijians. It focuses on communities that are vulnerable and activities that are responsive and inclusive to community priorities while being reinforced and well supported by national processes.

The key drivers for socio-economic resilience for this action are the generation and sale of carbon credits and the establishment of village-based honey cooperatives that produce rainforest certified honey. These drivers will be enabled through the protection of forest ecosystems which are vital for carbon capture and slowing down climate change.

“Building climate resilience in the Northern Division of Fiji with this Ecosystem-Based Climate Adaptation Project also provides local communities with a welcome source of income at the time of the COVID-19 crisis. It is fully in line with the European Green Deal, which remains the top priority of the European Union. It is consistent with the EU approach, to build strong partnerships between governmental authorities, civil society organisations and local communities” said Ambassador Seam.

Moreover, it must be highlighted that the EU supported the first independent project in Fiji for Forest Carbon Capture and Trade, the Drawa Forest Carbon Project, that gained Government’s approval and was developed by Live & Learn and the Nakau Programme. In Drawa, landowners gave up rights to logging timber in exchange for the opportunity to sell rainforest carbon credits as a way of generating revenue for local economic development and building resilience to climate change. The project is officially recognised as a pilot activity and has assisted the Government develop its national REDD+ Policy.  Based on this successful intervention, the EU is funding this second large-scale carbon credit project in partnership with the Government and with a view of preserving the ecosystems of vulnerable climate communities in Fiji. Live & Learn is well placed to adapt and replicate the Drawa model at an appropriate scale in Fiji, in collaboration with the national programmes and governmental priorities on climate change and REDD+ issues.

The ECAP project will also promote and advance gender equity and social inclusion through socio-economic resilience. It will take a strength-based approach that acknowledges existing systems and resources in the local community and adds value to these. Moreover, it will support youth participation in local climate resilient economies, climate change decision-making and climate change leadership.

ENDS

Media Contact:

For further information, please contact the Project Manager at Suva Head Office 52 Imthurn Road, Domain. Private Mail Bag, Suva. Tel: (679) 331 5868; or the Senior Project Officer at Northern Office Lot 4, Naiyaca Sub-division, Labasa, Fiji. Tel: (679) 881 8855