Fiji’s National Disaster Management Act (1998) and National Disaster Management Plan (1995) begin an overhaul today, ensuring the lessons learned from the most severe cyclone to ever hit the country are incorporated into the new legislative agreements for disaster management in the country. Climate change and the risk of disaster is apparent in the Pacific. The Fijian Government is beginning a consultative review process to ensure its legislative frameworks respond to both present and future needs in disaster management.
As part of the review process, a Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Review Workshop was held to bring representatives from across relevant Government ministries together to discuss the Disaster Risk Management review process and recommended priority focus area for the new DRM Framework.
Loata Vakacegu, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, said: “The need to review the Act and Plan has been a long outstanding issue. On behalf of the Government of Fiji, I commend and thank the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for its timely support in partnership with the Fiji Red Cross Society. I would also like to mention the generous assistance provided by the European Union and the technical support provided by the Pacific Community under its Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Program.”
Since the review started, several priority areas for the DRM have been highlighted, such as the role of climate change in disasters and the importance of supporting disaster coordination across all communities. The review of the DRM Act is also addressing needs of vulnerable groups and structures to put in place at their attention in ahead of disasters.
Deputy Secretary Vakacegu added: “We are confident that at the end of this review, we will have a comprehensive disaster management plan and act, both preparing us for the future”.
The six-month review of the National Disaster Management Act & Plan, led by the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, is being carried in partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific (BSRP) Project, led by SPC and funded by the EU. Learn more at http://bsrp.gsd.spc.int/index.php/bsrp-project/