Towards a Blue Recovery in Fiji

COVID-19 Appraisal Report

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The global COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected Fiji, hitting at backbone economic sectors, such as international tourism and export fisheries. It has also brought to the fore the need to embark on a more sustainable model of development. This report examines Fiji’s economic and sustainability trends, as well as the governance and financing of its ocean economy before and during the COVID-19 crisis. It provides an initial mapping of promising initiatives and funding instruments that can be developed and scaled up to foster a sustainable blue recovery, focusing on four main areas: sustainable fisheries, sustainable tourism, green shipping and marine conservation.


Executive summary

The bulk of Fiji’s economic activity depends on the ocean. Tourism, fisheries and maritime transportation are Fiji’s largest ocean economy sectors. Tourism alone accounted for 38.9% of Fiji’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 35.5% of employment prior to COVID-19. More than 90% of tourist attractions are maritime- or coastal-based. The tourism sector supports numerous other industries, such as transport and agriculture, although linkages could be further strengthened. Moreover, as an archipelago, Fiji relies heavily on maritime transportation, ports and other coastal infrastructureto trade goods and to ensure inter-island mobility of Fijians and tourists. Other critical sectors of Fiji’s ocean economy are fisheries and aquaculture. The fisheries sector is Fiji’s third largest export earner and is responsible for the livelihoods of a significant share of Fiji’s population.


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