State to relocate villages in Fiji

Fiji rising sea levelsNasik Swami, April 04, 2013: SEA walls are not an option to stop rising sea levels and villagers threatened by climate change must be relocated, a gathering of religious leaders have been told.

Director Political and Treaties Division of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Esala Nayasi told the National Faith Based Environmental Stewardship Summit in Sigatoka that sea walls were temporary facilities. “The government does not have the money to build sea walls in every coastal village in the country,” Mr Nayasi said.

He said they were in the process of relocating two coastal villages because they were under threat. “It is possible for many villages in Fiji to relocate to higher areas and that is the current strategy we are using,” Mr Nayasi said.

He warned that not every village threatened by climate change would be able to relocate easily. He said Daku Village in Tailevu was under threat from rising sea levels but did not have land on higher grounds.

Mr Nayasi said this posed a particular challenge for the villagers and authorities.

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