The fight against climate change will not be over anytime soon, hence the involvement of young people in this quest is critical.
This was highlighted by Pallawish Kumar, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Assistant Youth Officer saying that one-third of Fijians are between the ages of 15 to 35, making up the largest portion of our population.
Kumar has been working on climate mitigation and adaptation project in the Lau Group over the past few months.
He says more youths in the Lau group have been at the forefront in the fight against climate change and related disasters.
“Because of Disaster Risk Reduction, they don’t have much resources. Resources could be there, transportation is there and lack of knowledge. These three are the main challenges that young people face. If the resource is there, the lack of the knowledge is there, they don’t know what to do with it.”
Youth and Sports Director, Philip Hereniko says these young people must be allowed to participate in global climate dialogues.
“We need collaborative effort from all stakeholders and that includes NGOs, CSOs, and other private sectors as well. There is great potential in that and I’m sure if we utilize them effectively, we should be able to come up with solutions to the issues of DRR and climate adaptation.”
In 2021, the Ministry conducted Fiji’s first Youth Climate action summit, where more than 200 youths from all over Fiji were engaged to voice their concerns and together devise a strategic action.
Hereniko says more climate dialogue platform is needed in Fiji and can only be effectively executed with the support from relevant stakeholders.