Nature-based catchment management in Fiji

JBP are pleased to be working with SPC alongside Patrick Fong, Bindiya Rashni, and Yashika Nand on the Global Climate Change Alliance Plus Scaling up Pacific Adaptation project (GCCA+ SUPA), where we are preparing an integrated watershed management plan for the Soasoa catchment in Fiji.

Fiji is second only to Papua New Guinea as the Pacific Island country most affected by natural disasters. This is due to the range of extreme weather phenomenon that occur throughout the islands, which includes tropical cyclones, monsoons, extreme rainfall, flooding and coastal surges. It also has a growing population, and is it currently estimated that 12.5% of Fiji’s population is living in over 180 informal settlements around the country – representing over 80,000 people. These groups are among the most vulnerable to extreme weather, and in the least position to deal with the continued effect of flooding. Throughout the project we will be using our Pacific Flood Maps, that map the flood risk over every pacific island . Fing out more here.

Our project will be ‘scaling up the Soasoa drainage system’, and aiming to increase the resilience of this vulnerable community through better planning and the integration of infrastructure and ecosystem-based adaption. This moves away from traditional ‘hard’ engineering options, and towards a more balanced approach combining hard and soft (grey or green) methods. There are a range of benefits of using nature-based approaches in the management of catchments, waterways and coastlines, which experience environmental, social and economic improvements. Options such as the re-establishment of riparian stream buffers have a significantly lower cost than hard infrastructure options, in addition to improved cost-benefit ratios for flood and drainage management.

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