Over 3000 people living in Koro Island will directly benefit from the project Learning Environmental Adaptation for Development (LEAD) by Civil Society Oganisations launched today by the Commissioner of the Eastern Division, Mr. Vitale Varo on the island.
The 3-year project funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Adventists Development Relief Agency (ADRA) will focus on climate change mitigation and adaption and governance development.
The LEAD project will enable Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Fiji to engage as actors of change for the people by identifying possible solutions for supporting the transition to an economy that is climate resilient, circular and leads to low carbon emissions. This will be done through community-centred actions in Koro Island, focusing on capacity building for climate smart agricultural techniques, diversified green income generation activities, recycling and waste management systems as well as coastal rehabilitation.
While congratulating ADRA and the project team from Suva, the EU Ambassador to Fiji and for the Pacific, His Excellency Sujiro Seam said: “This project in Koro Island is the best example of what the EU tries to achieve in the Pacific at the time of the COVID-19 crisis. It addresses the immediate socio-economic impact of this crisis, providing much needed support to Fijian communities, but doesn’t lose sight of the long-term impact of climate change in the region, building climate resilience in line with the European Green Deal”.
“We are all aware of the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston in Koro and how the people on the island had to rebuild their lives from the ground. With this project, ADRA Fiji is proud to be reaching out to this vulnerable community and to continue with the rebuilding process four years later, focusing on sustainably improving the Koro Island market economy and supporting development of environmentally-friendly communities for climate change adaptation and eco-tourism,” ADRA Fiji’s LEAD Project Manager Inosi Yabakivou said.
Apart from these climate change adaptation benefits, the LEAD project, after considering all stakeholders, will adopt an approach that facilitate stakeholders process for ownership. It will see ADRA Fiji working closely with Government agencies, CSOs, and members of the agricultural and private sectors.
Mr. Yabakivou explained that through the collaboration, the project will also develop and establish market linkages and value chains with Koro Island through the development of an economic market Growth Centre and create access to an effective information flow that creates a learning environment for the people at Koro island that empowers them to start up and run sustainable business.
Developing creative value chains that can generate income from waste materials and establishing a market supply chain to ensure consistency in the supply of the recyclable product are also key deliverables for the project.
The LEAD project targets 30 Food Security and livelihood cluster members, 20 government officials and 14 communities on the island that will directly benefit 885 households with a total population of 3187. Of the total pupolation on the island, 49 percent are female. A total of 929 are susbistence farmers.