28 August, 2019
Lami, Fiji – Fiji’s Natural Disaster Management Act, 1998 and National Disaster Management Plan 1995 is currently being reviewed in a consultation workshop being held in Suva to review the first draft of the proposed Bill. The review is being undertaken as part of a wide reaching consultation period to ensure key emerging issues such as climate change, security, gender equality, disability and humanitarian coordination are encompassed within the proposed legislation.
The review also considers the various amendments to existing legislation and new regulations such as village by-laws to ensure there are no conflicts for disaster risk management of practitioners at the ground level.
The review and consultation process has been underway since May 2018 with key stakeholders engaged in the process to provide their input and feedback including communities, local, national and sub-national government level, private sector, women’s groups, persons with disabilities and others.
The 375,000FJD review of the legislation and plan is supported by the Pacific Community (SPC) through the European Union (EU) funded Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific (BSRP) Project in partnership with the International Federation of the Red Crescent, the Fiji Red Cross Society and with the National Disaster Management Office taking the lead role.
Speaking at the opening, Acting Director National Disaster Management Office, Ms Litiana Bainimarama was grateful for the support of the European Union (EU).
“The NDMO would like to thank the Pacific Community’s Building Safety & Resilience Project (BSRP), who, through the funding support of the EU, provided technical and administrative support through the National Disaster Management Office in implementing the various projects across the country that is truly helping us, as a nation to build our resilience to disasters”, she said.
This national workshop review is the first review of the draft Natural Disaster Management Bill and it is hoped the final recommendations and Bill will be finalised by later this year.
The Team Leader for Climate Change, Energy and Circular Economy at the Delegation of the EU for the Pacific, Mr. Adrian Nicolae said, “In the wake of constantly recurring disasters, it is important to have relevant legislation that clearly lays out the structure, roles and responsibilities of Government, key responders, and humanitarian actors both in periods of calm and during the time of disasters and their immediate aftermath. The review of the draft Natural Disaster Management Bill is therefore a most important step to ensure preparedness and resilience to future natural disaster events”.
SPC’s Disaster and Community Resilience Deputy Director Rhonda Robinson commended the progress and consultative process the Fiji Disaster Management Office and Government has undertaken in this review.
“Ensuring legislative mechanisms are robust and respond to the impact of climate change and the increased era of disaster risk is critical for Pacific countries. This legislative review ensures Fiji can prepare, respond and recover better from these increased risks which is a progressive and committed way forward to dealing with the risk we face in the Pacific”
About the Building Safety and Resilience Project The Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP)-European Union (EU) project called Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific project (BSRP) is a €19.37million project funded by the EU and implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC). Its objective is to reduce the vulnerability, as well as the social, economic and environmental costs, of disasters caused by natural hazards, thereby achieving regional and national sustainable development and poverty alleviation in ACP Pacific Island states.
Ruben Vulawalu, BSRP Communications/Graphics Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org