Lui Manuel - Impact of COVID-19 on Rural Villages in the Fijian Islands
Fiji has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. COVID-19 related border lockdowns, restricted movements, and curfews resulted in reduced household incomes, purchasing power, and access to markets. Tourism was of critical economic importance in Fiji until border closures cut off international ties. Many people returned to home islands, putting pressure on local land resources. Diverse local markets, exchange and bartering increased. COVID-19 has impacted household income, food systems, education, health, water security, and culture. At the same time, Fiji has experienced Tropical Cyclones and the ongoing impacts of climate change—sea level rise, extreme weather events, warmer ocean temperatures and impacts on sea life, etc. In this presentation, Lui Manuel will share about how COVID-19 is being experienced and responded to by rural villages in Nadroga-Navosa Province, Fiji in the context of other ongoing social and ecological stressors. He will talk about what he has seen and heard from villages, and discuss some of the efforts the Provincial Council is making to support villages during the pandemic.