UNDP commends Fiji's approach to Climate Change

June 8, 2023

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner (middle right) and Fiji's Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management (left) , Hon. Sakiasi Raisevu Ditoka, deep in discussion, strengthening partnerships to tackle climate change and promote sustainable development.


New York, 17 May – The Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mr. Achim Steiner, has expressed his admiration for Fiji's proactive approach to addressing climate priorities and commended the country for its commitment to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The Administrator made these statements during a recent meeting with Fiji's Minister for Rural and Maritime for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, Honorable Minister Sakiasi Ditoka who paid him a courtesy visit at the UNDP headquarters in New York. Minister Ditoka highlighted the longstanding partnership between the two entities and their collaborative efforts in addressing climate change, disaster risk reduction, and risk-informing development for a sustainable future.

The Administrator recognized Fiji as a valuable partner for UNDP's operations in the Pacific region and expressed UNDP's commitment to supporting Fiji and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in their efforts to combat climate change, despite the challenges posed by declining Official Development Assistance (ODA).

The discussion centred around partnership opportunities and financing for development. Administrator Steiner emphasized the criticality of financing, particularly for climate-related projects, and encouraged Minister Ditoka to engage with UNDP to explore innovative solutions. The Administrator highlighted UNDP's global network and its ability to bridge capacity gaps, develop effective systems and procedures, and connect projects through a portfolio approach. By defining their own priorities, Fiji can maximize the support provided by UNDP.

Minister Ditoka expressed sincere appreciation for UNDP's partnership and support, particularly emphasizing the significance of the Governance for Resilient Development (Gov4Res) project in enhancing resilience in rural and maritime communities. This initiative exemplifies risk-informed development by incorporating disaster risk reduction strategies into community development projects.

By adopting this approach, Fiji embeds the core principles of the Sendai Framework - a 15-year global agreement to reduce, prevent and respond to global disaster risks – in its rural development work, fostering a culture of preparedness and resilience.

The meeting further underscored the relevance of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the importance of helping countries operationalize it. Mr. Steiner emphasized UNDP's role as an amplifier of SIDS voices and its presence in many SIDS, enabling their concerns to be heard globally.

The meeting concluded on a positive note, with both parties reaffirming their commitment to the partnership and their shared goal of building resilience and sustainable development in Fiji and other SIDS. The collaboration between UNDP and the Ministry for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management continues to yield tangible benefits, with numerous risk-informed community development projects already implemented, benefiting thousands of individuals in rural communities.

As the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly for the Mid-Term Review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction approaches, Fiji and UNDP remain committed to addressing the challenges of climate change and disaster risk reduction, working hand in hand to create a more resilient future for all.

The Gov4Res Project is implemented by the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji and partners with the Australian Government (DFAT), the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).