Due to the country’s particular exposure to climate related events, UN Habitat supports people and communities on Fiji in making their settlements more safe, resilient and sustainable. Technical support, consultation, trainings and assistance on different levels are provided to prepare decision-makers as well as the population for social, environmental and economic challenges in the present and the future.
Increasing impacts of climate change together with growing urbanization and climbing population numbers are major challenges the country and its population are facing. Rising sea levels, natural disasters increasing in frequency and intensity, soil erosion or flash flooding pose substantial threats across the country. Particularly in the context of informal settlements, poverty, unemployment, lack of sanitation and infrastructure often exacerbate climate change vulnerability. In Fiji, 20% of the urban population lives in informal settlements in high-risk peri-urban areas. Through its work, UN-Habitat supports institutional strengthening at the city- and community-level for enhanced local climate response and resilience strengthening.
6,242 people to benefit from adaptation actions, from which 3,059 are women and 1,248 are young people (between the ages of 15 and 24).
55.9. per cent of Fiji’s population live in urban areas
44% of the rural and 26% of the urban population live under the poverty line
20% of the urban population live in informal settlements in high-risk peri urban areas
Donors and partners
UN-Habitat remains the key urban advocate in Fiji and maximized opportunities for continued building awareness of both national and development partners surrounding the benefits of improved management of urban growth. An immediate outcome has been for continued support for policy dialogue (a new post-disaster component to the national housing policy) and strategic implementation as well as increased press coverage of inadequate housing, and the urgent need to address the challenges that the rapid rate of urbanization brings.
- Total value of UN-Habitat investments (2008-2015): US$ 199,782
- Total number of UN-Habitat projects (2008-2015): 4 projects
- Main donors: European Commission and the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Secretariat through the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme and the Government of Norway (Cities and Climate Change Initiative)
The Pacific has a very rapid rate of urbanization and high population growth and is not well enough prepared to cope with the challenges and opportunities that urban growth presents. UN-Habitat is well placed to assist Fiji to improve its urban management and planning practices and enable new thinking and actions about how best to evolve cities, towns and peri-urban areas for the future.
UN-Habitat provides training, expert advice, proven tools and methodologies for small-medium sized urban centres within alignment of national needs and demands as articulated in National Development Strategies. In the Pacific, this is framed in assisting countries meet their commitments to the Pacific Urban Agenda (Initiative 13.5, Pacific Plan). Fiji has an urban population of over 455,000 not including those communities located on the periphery of council administrative boundaries. Some municipalities are urbanizing more quickly than others, but all are confronting challenges related to growth. These include urban poverty and employment, environmental risk, land administration and infrastructure provision and maintenance. Whilst considerable efforts in the last 5 years have seen the formulation and application of a national housing policy and the adoption of a pro-poor approach for poverty alleviation, there remains a significant challenge to keep up with the demand for housing and water and sanitation service provision. The 2013 Constitution enshrines the rights to these services.
UN-Habitat projects in Fiji
Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI), Lami Town
Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP)
The Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme has provided initiative for strengthening relationships between national and sub-national government and with NGOs such as the Peoples Community Network (and associated City Wide Upgrading project with the Asian Coalition of Housing Rights) as well as active inclusion of land stakeholders such as the Taukei Land Trust Board as a critical partner in the Town Wide Upgrading project (accessing traditional land for development). PSUP provides additional support to an increasing focus on the development and adoption of inclusive policies and strategies for slum upgrading in line with the PSUP principles and contributing to the achievement of MDG 7 C and D.
- Implementation Phase: Phase II
- Duration: June 2014 – December 2015
- Value: US$100000
- Donor: European Commission and, the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Secretariat
- Implementing Partners: UN Habitat and the Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment; and the People’s Community Network (a local NGO affiliated with the Asian Coalition of Housing Rights)
- Profile cities/ location: Greater Suva Area (Lami Town, Suva City, Nasinu Town and Nausori Town), Nadi Town and Lautoka City
Regional Knowledge Management: Strengthening Pacific Urban Agenda Implementation
Key partners are national government, city and town councils, development partners.
UN-Habitat remains the key urban advocate in Fiji and maximized opportunities for continued building awareness of both national and development partners surrounding the benefits of improved management of urban growth. An immediate outcome has been for continued support for policy dialogue (a new post-disaster component to the national housing policy) and strategic implementation as well as increased press coverage of inadequate housing, and the urgent need to address the challenges that the rapid rate of urbanization brings. The PSUP has provided initiative for strengthening relationships between national and sub-national government and with NGOs such as the Peoples Community Initiative as well as active inclusion of land stakeholders such as the iTaukei Land Trust Board as a critical partner in the Town Wide Upgrading project (accessing traditional land for development). The Pacific’s inaugural regional Housing Workshop (October 2012) allowed for a learning exchange of Fiji’s housing policy development with other Pacific Island Countries. In terms of its climate and risk management projects, UN-Habitat’s role has been one of capacity building, technical input and knowledge management.
Sarah MecartneyHPM-PacificUN-HabitatLevel 5, Kadavu House414 Victoria Parade Suva, Fijimecartneyemail@example.com