Friday, 29 June 2012 9:27 AM

Fiji Finalising iTaukei Glossary of Climate Change Terms

Fiji is in the final stages of putting together a glossary of climate change terms in the iTaukei (indigenous Fijian) language. After a two-month consultation process, a final stakeholder consultation workshop was held on 14 June 2012 in Suva.

The Fiji national climate change policy identifies the need to develop locally appropriate awareness materials in all common vernaculars. This is partly in recognition of the fact that rural communities are one of the groups that is most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This stems from their relatively high dependence on surrounding natural resources, narrow income-generating opportunities and the low infrastructural development in these areas. There is a strong need for awareness raising and capacity development in rural communities regarding the impacts of climate change. Appropriate tools and approaches are needed to ensure that awareness and training initiatives are effectively understood and accepted by the local communities. This includes the need to develop materials in the vernacular, as indicated in the national climate change policy.

However, Fiji lacks an official guiding document on climate change terms and phrases in iTaukei. This is of particular concern given the increasing number of climate change initiatives currently being undertaken in rural iTaukei communities and the amount of vernacular material being generated and disseminated. Translations are carried out independently and unsystematically. The development of a standard iTaukei glossary of climate change terms will promote standardisation on the use of iTaukei phrases and terms relating to climate change. This in turn will ensure that there is consistency in the climate change messages going out to the local communities.

The development of the iTaukei climate change glossary is being led by the Fiji Ministry of iTaukei Affairs in partnership with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Forestry Department. An array of stakeholders from government agencies, non-governmental organisations, development partners and the private sector contributed to the development of the glossary. Almost 60 phrases and words are in the glossary and the exercise has resulted in the formation of some new iTaukei words. It is anticipated that the iTaukei climate change glossary will be published in July 2012.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)/German International Development Cooperation (GIZ) Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region programme is supporting the development of the iTaukei glossary.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province