During a compelling speech at Thematic Session 2 of the UN General Assembly Climate Ambition Summit, titled “Delivering Climate Justice: Accelerating Ambition and Implementation on Adaptation and Early Warning for All,” Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, issued a stirring call to action.

He emphasised Fiji’s unique position as a frontline nation in the battle against climate change, its struggles with erratic weather patterns, and its steadfast commitment to climate justice.

Prime Minister Rabuka stated, “Fiji, as a vulnerable nation, finds itself on the frontline of the climate crisis, grappling with its devastating effects.” This bold declaration underscores the harsh reality Fiji faces daily.

Rising global temperatures have resulted in erratic weather patterns, making food security and economic stability precarious for Fiji’s farmers. Prime Minister Rabuka highlighted this dire situation, stressing the urgency of the matter.

In response to these challenges, Fiji has proactively embraced adaptive practices.
Prime Minister Rabuka noted, “Recognising the urgency of the situation, Fiji has been actively pursuing adaptive practices, including the cultivation of climate-resilient crops like giant swamp taro (dalo ni tana).”

Fiji’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP) is now being implemented to address the impacts of climate change.

Fiji has established an inter-ministerial Steering Committee to ensure the effective coordination, implementation, and monitoring of the NAP.

Prime Minister Rabuka emphasised the importance of informed decision-making, citing sector-specific vulnerability assessments for agriculture, water resources, coastal management, and infrastructure.

He also acknowledged the vital role of climate finance while recognising access as a key challenge. He highlighted pending projects for climate-resilient infrastructure, community-based adaptation, and capacity-building, delayed due to complex financing processes.

Community-based adaptation initiatives, such as coastal protection, water management, and agricultural practices, are considered pivotal in Fiji’s climate resilience efforts. The integration of early warning systems through the UN’s “Early Warning Systems for All” initiative is further enhancing preparedness for climate-related events.

In his address, Prime Minister Rabuka called upon global leaders not only to reduce emissions but also to support vulnerable communities and foster climate resilience. He concluded with a poignant reminder that no nation is exempt from the impacts of climate change, and unity is the key to addressing this global crisis.

Prime Minister Rabuka’s speech resounded as a clarion call for global collaboration in the fight against climate change. It underscored the urgency of the matter and the need for collective action to secure a sustainable future for all.

As he aptly put it, “Let us leave this Summit with renewed purpose and dedication to action, envisioning a world where future generations can thrive amidst the wonders of our planet.” PM Rabuka’s words echo the hopes of a united global community ready to face the climate challenge head-on.