Collective approach needed to mitigate disaster risks

May 24, 2022 4:50 pm

[Source: Vasiti Soko / Twitter]

Fiji is practicing what it preaches, working with all relevant partners and stakeholders to mitigate disasters and climate change risks.

National Disaster Management Office Director, Vasiti Soko says there is an emergency structure in Fiji that allows Civil Society Organizations to be part of a Council which is co-chaired by either a UN agency or a local partner.

In our case, the Fiji Council of Social Services and Red Cross Society are the local partners.

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Soko who is at the UN Disaster Risk Reduction Global Platform in Bali, Indonesia, highlights the structure enables issues raised at the CSO level to be brought up to the government level so actions can be taken.

“We don’t work alone. Like I said we also adopted and contextualize the UN cluster system in Fiji by creating a national cluster system and these cluster systems are headed by nine government ministries.”

Soko says these mechanisms ensure a whole of society approach, further strengthened by Fiji’s strong voice in forums such as this one in Bali.

“We can’t do it on our own. We need to do it together in partnership with our key stakeholders, not only peer-to-peer support from Small Island Development countries but also from our global leaders to recognize that their decision is important when it comes to the implications of climate change.”

Fiji is the 14th country in the world at risk from disasters and with climate change accelerating, Small Island Developing States face bigger threats.