Disasters, such as floods, can have devastating outcomes, particularly when sensitivities of people and economies are heightened by changes in the natural landscape, argues an IUCN report, Economic Costs of the 2009 Floods in the Fiji Sugar Belt and Policy Implications.
Adopting a detailed "with-and-without" economic cost analysis and using detailed field survey data, Lal, Rita and Khatri estimate the cost of the January 2009 floods to the sugar industry to be FJ $24 million, together with an additional humanitarian cost of FJ $5 million. Such costs could have been reduced, the report argues, had attention been given to the maintenance of some of natural ecosystem services, particularly by maintaining farm drains and drainage systems in the mangrove reclaimed land and on hilly lands. Other issues analyzed include poverty implication of the floods on the flood affected sugarcane farmers, the effect of government’s macroeconomic policy and the state industry health.
The report, which is a product of a joint study by IUCN Oceania's Pacific Centre for Environmental Governance (PCEG) and Fiji Government Department of Lands and Survey, was funded by the European Commission under its National Adaptation Strategy Program for Fiji.
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