Talanoa for Ambition
The Fijian Presidency has launched the Talanoa Stories campaign to share examples of the innovative and inspiring action that is taking place on the ground to combat global warming.
The campaign calls on all friends of the Talanoa Dialogue to use social media to share their own Talanoa stories in compelling and engaging ways.
The rules are simple. If you, your community or your organisation have a climate story that responds to one of the three central questions of the Dialogue (see below), here’s what to do:
- Think about how to share your story on social media. Are you able to create a video? Is there a compelling photo to add to your post? Do you want to link to a longer story on your or a partner’s website?
- Download the Talanoa Stories logo to add to your photo, video or graphic
- Add the #Talanoa4Ambition hashtag
- Share your post with the world
- Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your post so that we can share on the Presidency’s channels
Below, you will find a selection of Fiji’s and others’ Talanoa stories, in no particular order. Many have been selected from Fiji’s formal submission to the Dialogue through the online Talanoa platform.
The Dialogue, which is led by Fiji and Poland, offers a unique and positive setting to share stories, which each respond to one of the three central questions which guide the Talanoa:
- Where are we now?
- Where do we want to go?
- How do we get there?
Talanoa Story #1
Fiji’s Green Bond
In October 2017, Fiji became the first emerging market to issue a sovereign green bond, raising 100 million Fijian dollars, or US$50 million, to support climate change mitigation and adaption.
Green bonds are fixed income, liquid financial instruments that are used to raise funds dedicated to climate-mitigation, adaptation, and other environment-friendly projects. This provides investors an attractive investment proposition as well as an opportunity to support environmentally sound projects.
Sub-national Climate Fund for Islands and Coastal Regions
In May, Fiji announced the partnership with Regions of Climate Action (R20) and Reunion Island to create the Sub-national Climate Fund (SnCF) for Islands and Coastal Regions (SnCF Islands). The initiative will create an investment fund to finance the development of green infrastructure projects in the Pacific including renewable energy, waste management, and municipal lighting.
The initiative will improve the lives of Pacific islanders by leveraging existing technologies that have low carbon emissions and are designed to meet the needs of the local populations. The projects will create local jobs, drive the economy, and reduce the overall impact of development on public health.
Talanoa Story #2
Talanoa Story #3
Banning Single-Use Plastics
Single-use plastic is posing a serious threat to our climate. Not only is it damaging the health of the world’s oceans, but its production also causes significant emissions of harmful greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.
That is why the Pacific is taking the lead in reducing the use of single-use plastic.
So far, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Niue and Fiji have all announced plans to ban single-use plastic bags.
Pacific Blue Carbon Initiative
At COP23 in Bonn, Germany, the governments of Fiji and Australia partnered to host the Pacific Blue Carbon Initiative: Promoting Coastal Ecosystems.
The Partnership focused on coastal blue carbon ecosystems (mangroves, saltmarshes and seagrasses) and offered an opportunity to highlight the importance of oceans and coastal ecosystems in the Pacific and the link between their health and the impacts of, and solutions to, climate change. Coastal blue carbon ecosystems contain more sequestered carbon per square metre than almost any other ecosystem. Yet they are among the most threatened ecosystems with significant losses occurring worldwide.
Talanoa Story #4
Talanoa Story #5
Fiji’s Vulnerability Assessment
Mitigation and Adaptation
During the World Bank/IMF Spring meetings in Washington, the Fijian Government requested the World Bank to carry out a Climate Vulnerability Assessment (CVA) of Fiji. The CVA launched at COP23 shows the vulnerabilities faced by Fiji, as well as possible solutions to tackle climate change and boost resilience. The objective of the CVA is to identify Fiji’s key vulnerabilities to natural hazards and climate change and prioritise measures to strengthen resilience. This is in response to the first question of the Talanoa Dialogue.
Pacific NDC Hub
Mitigation and Adaptation
The NDC Partnership is establishing a new regional hub to support the implementation of NDCs in the Pacific. The Regional Pacific NDC Hub will be based in Suva, Fiji, and will provide expertise for developing regional solutions to mitigate global warming and enhance efforts by Pacific islands to adapt to climate change. Initial donors are Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Talanoa Story #6
Talanoa Story #7
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) contributed 110 million euros (US $125 million) to launch the InsuResilience Global Partnership for Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance Solutions to bring affordable insurance and other financial protection to millions of vulnerable people around the world. The contribution from BMZ follows a £30 million (US $39 million) commitment that was made by the Government of the United Kingdom in July 2017. This initiative already has projects running in the Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands.
Fiji Clearing House for Risk Transfer
This new online resource will help connect vulnerable countries with the best available information on affordable insurance and solutions – tailored to their unique circumstances – that will allow them to better prepare for the risks posed by climate change.
Talanoa Story #8
Talanoa Story #9
The Environment and Climate Adaptation Levy
The Environment and Climate Adaptation Levy (‘ECAL’) is a 10-cent levy on plastic bags, a 10% duty on vehicles with an engine size above 3000cc, a 10% charge on yacht docking fee, a 10% deduction on income earnings of above $270,000 and a 10% levy on prescribed services such as hotels, restaurants, cinemas and tour services. Proceeds from the ECAL will finance climate adaptation projects identified in the National Budget. Projects being financed by ECAL, include the construction of seawalls and improving the resilience of the agricultural sector.
The Rural Electrification Programme
To mitigate emissions from diesel generators and provide access to clean energy for vulnerable communities, the Fijian Government, through its Rural Electrification Programme, has installed 2,500 solar home systems around the country. These systems were provided to households who were too isolated to be connected to the national grid, which already receives 65% of its power from renewable energy. For the people who benefited from the installation of these systems, this access to solar power was life-transforming because in many instances it provided these families with electricity for the first time. But just over two years ago, in February 2016, Fiji was struck by the biggest cyclone ever to make landfall in the Southern Hemisphere, Cyclone Winston, packing winds at its height of more than 300 kilometres-per-hour. As well as killing 44 of our people, leaving thousands homeless, and damaging all manner of national infrastructure, 680 of the 2,500 solar home systems were destroyed. Years of progress towards providing clean energy to our rural areas was lost in the space of a night. Admittedly, these systems were not reinforced properly, lacked cyclone certification, and were
unable to be dismantled quickly enough as the cyclone approached. But even if this hadn’t been the case, the question remains whether the losses on the scale that took place could have been averted given the 300 kilometre-per-hour winds. We are doing what we can to address these issues by allocating more than FJ$10 million for the installation of Category 4 cyclone-resistant solar home systems. 2,600 of these will be installed over the next two years – double the previous number of cyclone-resistant systems already installed. We are building the systems with stronger aluminium frames, using more braces and bolts and making them easier to dismantle in times of emergency. But remember, they still will not withstand a Category 5 event such as Winston. This is yet another example of how vulnerable countries like Fiji are at the mercy of events beyond our control and which are testing our scarce resources to the limit.
Talanoa Story #10
Talanoa Story #11
Renewable Energy Revolving Fund
Fiji is establishing the Rural Electrification Fund program working with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Sunergise, Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area (FLMMA) network, and Fiji Electricity Authority. The fund will provide the capital costs associated with bringing clean, renewable energy to off-grid rural communities in Fiji. By recycling the electricity fees paid by communities for clean, renewable energy back into the construction of clean energy systems for additional communities, it is intended that this new vehicle structure can be self-sustaining and could be replicated across the Pacific and other vulnerable nations.
Solar Island Concept
The Fijian Government is working with the Global Green Growth Institute and the Korea International Cooperation Agency to electrify the islands of Taveuni and Ovalau using 100% renewable energy. These are 3rd and 4th largest islands in Fiji by land mass, respectively. A pre-feasibility study was completed in 2017 which examined options for solar, wind, hydro and battery storage technologies. The technologies will then be further implemented through development partners, private sector and multilateral funding. Powering the two islands with renewable energy will have significant positive impact on Fiji’s renewable energy targets and help reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels. The two islands are envisaged to be running on 100% renewable energy by 2035.
Talanoa Story #12
Talanoa Story #13
Fiji Urban Water Supply and Wastewater Management Project
Fiji has signed the financing arrangements for a project designed to improve access to sustainable water supply and sewerage services to approximately 270,000 Fijians in the greater Suva area. The US $405 million project will take into account the increasing population and the need for more resilient infrastructure. The project is funded through loans from the ADB (US $153.2 million) and EIB (US $70.8 million), a grant by the Green Climate Fund (US $31 million) and Government funding (US $150.1 million).
Nabou Biomass Power Plant
The recently commissioned Nabou Biomass Power Plant just outside of Nadi is an example of private sector investment in clean energy generation. The Biomass plant is expected to use waste wood pellets from local saw mills to produce steam power to drive turbines. The plant has potential to generate 12 Mega Watts of electricity, which is enough to supply power to all of Nadi – Fiji’s Tourism hub – and parts of Sigatoka. The plant management, the Korean Company GIMCO, is working the Fiji Electricity Authority as an Independent Power Producer to agree to a power purchase agreement that will enable the Biomass Plant to feed into the national electricity grid.
Talanoa Story #14
Talanoa Story #15
Coca Cola Factory in Nasinu and Tourism Operators
A growing number of manufacturers and tourism operators have installed solar roof top panels to drive down electricity costs and reduce their carbon footprint. A great example in the manufacturing sector is the Coca Cola Factory in Nasinu, which recently completed the installation of a 1.1 Mega Watt solar rooftop system that is the largest privately-funded solar grid connect system in the South Pacific. In the tourism sector, Turtle Island Resort has become one of the first completely “clean energy” resorts in the world, after the installation of 968 solar panels that provide 100% of the power needs of the island. On rainy and cloudy days, the solar plant operates at about 85% of full capacity, maintaining outstanding energy efficiency. The solar installation produces over 1 Mega Watt of power a day helping reduce 220 tonnes of GHG emissions per year and saves 85,000 litres of diesel consumption per year. This has reduced the resort’s annual diesel costs by 90%.
The Climate Vulnerability Assessment
Mitigation & Adaptation
During the World Bank/IMF Spring meetings in Washington, the Fijian Government requested the World Bank to carry out a Climate Vulnerability Assessment (CVA) of Fiji. The CVA launched at COP23 shows the vulnerabilities faced by Fiji, as well as possible solutions to tackle climate change and boost resilience. The objective of the CVA is to identify Fiji’s key vulnerabilities to natural hazards and climate change and prioritise measures to strengthen resilience.
Talanoa Story #16
Talanoa Story #17
Pacific Climate Finance and Insurance “Drua” Incubator
The Fijian Government officially launched an important new initiative to develop finance and insurance products that are tailor-made to the needs and circumstances of vulnerable and low-income households in Fiji and other Pacific island countries. The Pacific Climate Finance and Insurance Incubator – known as the Drua Incubator – will bring together leaders in finance, investment and insurance to develop and “incubate” transformational and scalable financial and insurance products that meet the specific requirements of Pacific Small Island Development States. Together with support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Government of Luxembourg will provide initial funding of 1 million euros for the initiative.
Mitigation & Adaptation
To support its future relocation work, the Fijian Government looks forward to the national level evidence project titled “CommonSensing: Improved climate change resilience and sustainable development in Commonwealth of Nations Small Island Developing States enabled by Earth Observation” which is funded by the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP), and has the objective of improving resilience towards climate change, including disaster risk reduction. The project will serve as a key instrument to identify and prepare Fiji and its people to the risks posed by climate change and disasters. It will leverage earth observation data to provide stakeholders with access to vital information regarding disaster and climate risks to inform planning, food security needs and other environmental concerns. This information will be readily available to beneficiaries through web portal and mobile applications. The CommonSensing project will create long-term investment loops, define priorities for future climate funds proposals and ensure a sustainable service- platform.