Communities in Fiji have taken the next step in the CRI process by finalising their resilience plans. In the CRI programme we symbolise the journey communities are on with a picture of an island-hopping canoe, so we could also say that communities have arrived at their next island.
Communities participating in the programme worked towards the creation of a resilience profile for each community, a holistic document that details their assets, knowledge, ecosystems and livelihoods. These profiles in turn form the basis for resilience plans, which communities have now detailed and agreed to.
To help with the planning process, communities also drew community maps outlining what a ‘best future’ community would look like.
Planning pathways that were subsequently developed cover the areas of nature-based solutions, food security and disaster preparedness. A major resilience strategy relating to the first two areas is sustainable farming methods. All nine Fiji communities at this stage of the process have expressed interest in putting in place sustainable land management plans.
Conservation of local ecosystems is integral to CRI because we know that the health of forests, waterways and oceans directly affects the health of communities. So, communities will be also working on river and forest restoration, which will include replanting of trees and grasses and addressing agricultural runoff and soil erosion. Grants will also be sought for setting up seedling nurseries.
Reviving traditional methods of land management is also key to the success of community resilience plans, utilising the strengths that already exist in communities and helping with unity of purpose as the communities continue on their journey together.
Climate Resilient Islands is a New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade initiative, implemented by Live & Learn Environmental Education, with funding provided by the New Zealand Government.