In partnership with the Fijian government, WRI created a comprehensive National Climate Finance Strategy, a blueprint to guide investments toward the most-needed mitigation and adaptation projects.

The Challenge

Small island developing nations are on the front lines of the climate crisis. Rising sea levels and more severe weather destroy infrastructure and homes, threaten livelihoods and put entire communities in harm’s way.

Fiji is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with nearly 1 million inhabitants spread across more than 1,000 villages and 300 islands. Most of Fiji’s villages are coastal, and many of its people live off subsistence farming and fishing, putting their homes and livelihoods at increasingly high risk of flooding, erosion, ocean acidification and other climate change-related impacts.

Fiji urgently needs funding to both prevent the impacts of climate change and build resilience to those already underway. Increasing climate finance and directing it to where it’s most needed, however, requires coordination between various government ministries, which are often under-resourced. This can make it difficult to access and effectively deploy funds.

WRI’s Role

WRI designed Fiji’s new National Climate Finance Strategy in close partnership with the Fijian Ministry of Economy (now Finance). WRI mapped out existing climate policies and projects and conducted a thorough stakeholder engagement process with all relevant government ministries and development partners. These consultations helped clarify the climate-related priorities of the different parts of Fiji’s government and ensure that everyone embraced the strategy as a governing document.

The strategy is based on a prior study known as Fiji’s Climate Finance Snapshot, carried out by WRI and the Ministry of Economy in 2019. The snapshot analyzed the nation’s climate finance flows relative to its climate goals and identified three adaptation-related areas in particular need of additional investments: the nature-based “blue economy,” the ability of the healthcare system to respond to climate impacts, and community relocation due to sea level rise.

The resulting strategy includes a detailed prioritization of climate finance needs across 12 sectors, pinpoints adaptation projects best suited to protect the country’s at-risk communities, and provides a detailed roadmap to guide Fiji’s negotiations with international climate finance providers.

The Outcome

Since its adoption in 2022, Fiji’s National Climate Finance Strategy has helped the government prioritize climate investments and strategically engage with funders to access climate finance and direct it to projects that will best protect communities from escalating climate impacts.

Key projects are already under development. For example, the Adaptation Fund has approved a concept note for submission as a full proposal; if approved, it would pay for natural sea walls to protect islands threatened by sea level rise.

On the international stage, Fiji’s National Climate Finance Strategy has been used as a model for other climate finance analyses. For example, WRI helped create state-level Resource Mobilization Strategies in three Indian states and is currently working on an analysis of climate finance flows for the Guatemalan government.

The Climate Finance Strategy has been enshrined in the Fijian National Climate Change Act, with a call to be updated every five years.  With a detailed climate finance plan like Fiji’s, countries can help solve a key climate change challenge: directing resources to the communities most threatened by impacts and least equipped to deal with them.