Aerial view of island and coral reefs in Fiji

CAPA: Fiji

In Fiji, the Climate Adaptation and Protected Areas (CAPA) Initiative will promote sustainable fisheries, support reforestation, safeguard locally managed marine areas, train local communities, preserve functional and healthy ecosystems, and improve flood mitigation. 

Located in the South Pacific, Fiji is an archipelagic country spread across 332 Islands, most of which are uninhabited. Fiji’s population of <850,000 people largely occupies two major Islands: Viti Levu and Vanua Levu have volcanic origins and are marked by rugged terrains and valleys. Due to the steep landscape of the major islands, local communities have settled along the coast. The settlement pattern is also attributed to the intrinsic relationship that people share with the ocean, which is central to the livelihoods, cultures, and traditions of Fijians.

Fiji boasts a rich array of terrestrial and marine flora and fauna, making it a biodiversity hotspot and home to a range of endemic species. However, slow and sudden onset events caused by climate change over the past decades have resulted in the significant loss of lives and livelihoods in Fiji. The most significant climate change hazards include sea level rise, extreme weather events, widespread coral bleaching events, temperature increases, and changing rainfall patterns. Key biodiversity and ecosystem threats include habitat loss, invasive species, overfishing, pollution, and coral reef degradation.

The CAPA Initiative is working with local communities to design and implement nature-based solutions (NbS) for adaptation that respond to climate change and biodiversity impacts in Fiji. It will focus on the participation of underrepresented groups to promote sustainable fisheries and create new community conservation areas to help reduce climate vulnerabilities and preserve functional and healthy ecosystems. The initiative aims to protect biodiversity and increase climate resilience in Fiji.

Project Sites in Fiji

Terrestrial sites: Terrestrial interventions will take place across four districts—Kubulau, Nakorotubu, Dawasamu, and Waibula.

Marine sites: Marine interventions will take place across three districts —Nakorotubu, Bua, and Bureta. 

Did you know?

Fiji’s rich marine biodiversity includes over 390 coral species and about 1,200 fish species, which makes its contribution to nature invaluable.

Key CAPA Initiative activities in Fiji include

  • promoting sustainable fisheries and safeguarding locally managed marine areas through supporting improved licensing and monitoring arrangements in the Vatu-i-Ra Seascape within the Nakorotubu, Bua, and Bureta customary fishing grounds;
  • supporting climate-resilient alternative income options for reducing fishing pressure on locally managed marine areas in the Vatu-i-Ra Seascape; 
  • building the capacity of local communities, particularly women and underrepresented groups, to implement NbS to enhance resilience and biodiversity conservation in watersheds;
  • conducting restoration using NbS to increase climate resilience and support biodiversity conservation to provide buffers to existing protected areas; and
  • supporting the development of a national Watershed Fund in Fiji to ensure sustainable financing for nature-based climate adaptation solutions that support biodiversity conservation.