Fiji’s REDD+ Journey

Fiji is a small island state in the heart of the South Pacific Ocean, spread out over more than 300 islands. Fiji has a rich ocean culture that has let generations of Fijian thrive. But as an island state today, climate change poses a pressing threat to Fiji’s sustainable growth, placing large economic, social and physical stress on local communities and ecosystems. In Fiji, urgent actions are needed to strengthen the resilience of communities to face the growing impacts of climate change.

Facing the backdrop of a warming climate, the Government of Fiji has ensured all its’ national plans and strategies emphasise the need to embed climate change adaptation and resilience initiatives in all national and sectoral plans and strategies. This has been evident in Fiji’s efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change through the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation that began in 2009, and to which Fiji through the lead agency – the Ministry of Forestry with other stakeholders have continuously progressed towards major milestones since. Some of these milestones include the Fiji National REDD+ Policy endorsed in 2011, Fiji became a recipient of the FCPF REDD+ Readiness grant of USD$8.5million for REDD+ Readiness activities in 2015, Fiji successfully submitted its RPackage at the FCPF Participants Committee Twenty Seventh (PC 27) Meeting on Fiji’s Readiness process and Fiji’s Emissions Reduction Program Document (ERPD) gets accepted into the Carbon Fund.

According to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Forestry Mr Pene Baleinabuli, the endorsement of Fiji’s Readiness­Package strengthened Fiji’s interest to access the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Carbon Fund with the World Bank for the implementation of its Emission Reduction Program (ERP) from June 2020.

“While REDD+ is a mitigating approach, Fiji’s National Adaptation Plan Framework is guided by the REDD+ Policy, which reflects the dual role REDD+ plays both in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

“Indeed, Fiji’s ER program is designed to maximise climate co­benefits and integrate initiatives that address vulnerabilities of local communities and contribute to the effort of building a more resilient nation,” Mr Baleinabuli said.

In July 2019, Fiji’s Emission Reductions Program Document (ERPD) was endorsed ( “without conditions”) by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), and will be operational by July 2020. The Emission Reduction Program Agreement (ERPA) is expected to be signed by December 2019. Fiji’s REDD+ Readiness phase is to end by June 2020.