The adverse impact caused by changes in climate conditions is being felt around the world. From melting ice, extreme temperatures to more frequent and severe disasters and rising sea levels, all of these phenomena are causing a great distraction to livelihoods and the economy of countries.
Small island countries in the Pacific such as Fiji are facing the full brunt of the impact with rising sea levels forcing the migration of villagers inland, saltwater intrusion destroying gardens, crops and trees, ocean acidification affecting the coral reef systems and extreme weather patterns including severe and destructive winds.
Those residing in coastal communities, tourism and other business operators are being forced to mitigate such factors on a more frequent basis.
As per Fijian Government’s briefing in 2017 during its Presidency at the Conference of the Parties (COP) 23, Fiji requires “sufficient technical expertise, human resources and financial capacity to fully implement protective measures”1 to counter the crisis.
As part of its mission to support the economic and social development of Fiji through relevant, high-quality education and training Fiji National University (FNU) remains attuned to the needs of the country and responds accordingly.
Through programmes such as the Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Diploma and Masters programme in Climate Change Resilience and Mitigation, FNU provides a response to this need through education and research.
The primary focus of the Programme is on the impact of climate change and it is designed with two key objectives; first to make the University itself resilient and adapt to the effects of climate change by strengthening our internal response strategies and mechanism.
Secondly, it aims to build relevant skills through teaching and research that can contribute to addressing the immediate and long term effects of climate change in the country.