Organisers of the annual Hibiscus festival were commended in their efforts to address the effects of climate change at this year's event.

This was highlighted by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Hon. Faiyaz Koya while officially opening the festival at the Suva foreshore yesterday.

Minster Koya said this year’s theme “Climate Change: Communities adapting from Ridge to the Reef” is timely and coincides with the Government plans, as specified in the recently launched Green Growth Framework.

“There is no denying that Climate Change is this generation’s challenge and needs action by one and all,” Minister Koya said.

“We in Fiji and the Pacific are the only countries that are acutely aware of the shocking impacts of climate change, in the form of devastating floods, historic droughts, erosion of our coastlines forcing communities to relocate, intrusion of salt water in our sugarcane and taro plantation.”

Minister Koya added that some real impacts of climate change are already being felt right here in Fiji, with the rising of sea level that has led to relocation of 3 villages and another 45 need to be relocated.

“The Fijian Government is taking the necessary actions to minimize and prevent the impact of climate change. Please do not be complacent because you do not belong to the village or island that is threatened by rising sea levels or severe climatic conditions or simply because its Government responsibility.”

Chairman Hibiscus Event’s Group Hirdesh Prasad said this years’ theme is timely because it’s affecting most our villages and this year's festival provides a platform of informing all Fijians in the negative impacts of climate change.