An Integrated Vulnerability Assessment (IVA) and community relocation consultations was carried out in each of the 14 villages on Koro Island from the 8th to the 17th of June, 2016 by a team of 13 assessors from the iTaukei Affairs Board, Climate Change Division, Commissioner Eastern’s Office, ILO/UNDP, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the University of the South Pacific (USP).
The assessment was initiated upon a request by the Fiji Climate Change Division (CCD) to the University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD) to inform government on how to support 13 villages on Koro Island, relocate or retreat inland to a safer place of settlement following TC Winston. Adopting a holistic and integrated approach to community relocation, the overall aim of the IVA was to assess community resilience of villages on Koro Island to climate change and natural disasters.
The assessment required five resource people, each assigned with a group of community key informants. Each group was assigned one of the five livelihood assets and ILO/UNDP was assigned Human Resources/knowledge and skills.
Each of the 14 villages consulted will have their own report and this will be structured according to what is considered relevant and useful as a decision-making and planning reference material for the community. The individual 14 community reports will then be synthesised and comparatively analysed as a component of the Koro Whole-of-Island IVA Report.
It is proposed that the community reports will be presented and discussed by the respective Suva-based Koro Island Diaspora by having two tikina-based consultations by the end of July. It is hoped that following discussions with those in the villages, a Strategic Plan for Koro will be established.
As ILO, UNDP and IHRDP were also part of the assessment, data gathered from the exercise will also feed into the Local Economic Development assessment, which is an activity in the joint project currently implemented by the three organizations.