Annalena Baerbock’s visit to Fiji: Insights into planned relocations in the context of climate change

The German Foreign Minister’s visit to Fiji sheds light on the challenges of climate change, planned relocation and international cooperation in the context of human mobility.

Fiji, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, is particularly hard hit by the effects of climate change. Rising sea levels, devastating storms and increasing flooding threaten the livelihoods of Fiji’s inhabitants. In facing these challenges, the country declared a climate emergency in 2021.

An example of adaptation and protection measures against the effects of climate change are planned relocations, such as the relocation of the village of Vuniniudrovo on the main island of Fiji. Without this relocation, the houses of the inhabitants would have been destroyed by erosion by now.

In order to make the relocations feasible, transparent and participatory for everyone involved, the government of Fiji has developed the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in cooperation with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). These were developed with the involvement of local stakeholders, particularly women, and aim to ensure the most inclusive and participatory approach possible for planned relocations. Anina Vontobel, GIZ project manager in Fiji, also emphasizes in the radio feature by Deutschlandfunk, which was published in the context of Baerbock’s visit, that the inclusive and participatory approach of the SOPs plays a crucial role in the successful implementation of the relocations. They have already proven to be a pioneering approach for the Fijians. Despite the urgency, relocation is usually understandably not easy for communities, as they have strong bonds with the place that has been home to them and their ancestors for generations.

During Baerbock’s visit to one of the relocated communities, she pledged continued support to the island nations in the fight against climate change.

For more information and insights into the complexity of planned relocation, click here on the Link to listen to the radio feature.

Photo: © GIZ / Aaron March

Recent News

Partnership OECS and GIZ

For six years now, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and GIZ’s Global Programme ‘Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change’ have collaborated in their aim to human mobility as a consequence of the region’s increasing environmental challenges. A newly published article by the OECS describes how the partnership looked like and how the organisations took action through strategic thinking, capacity building, and publication of various knowledge products.

Read More »

Learning to live with climate change: Now available in 3 languages

Our publication ‘Learning to live with climate change’ is now available in three languages! Read more about how the Global Programme “Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change” has been working in regions like the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, East Africa and in the Philippines. The study is available in English, German and French.

Read More »