Private Sector Groups Shift Focus To Climate Change Factor
Fiji Sun 14 Mar 2018 SHELDON CHANEL SUVA
The time for businesses in the region to go green and build resilience to secure long-term sustainability is now, says a prominent businessman and council head.
Hafiz Khan, chairperson of the Pacific Business Resilience Network, said businesses had to take responsibility and adapt to the rising threats of climate change and natural disasters.
Mr Khan spoke in Suva during a breakfast event organised to discuss ‘Building resilient Businesses in the Pacific.’
It was hosted by the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) in partnership with the Fiji Business Disaster Resilience Council and the Global Green Growth Institute.
In an interview following his presentation, Mr Khan said certain geographical factors meant businesses in the Pacific region were particularly vulnerable to natural disasters.
“We want to get the private sector involved (in creating awareness about and implementing resilient business initiatives),” Mr Khan added.
Extreme weather events and temperatures are among the most pressing environmental challenges facing businesses today, according the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Risk Report.
Some specific risks the report found were the accelerating biodiversity loss, pollution of air, soil and water and failures of climate change mitigation and adaptation.
President of the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation Sandeep Chauhan, alluding to the damage caused by Tropical Cyclone
Winston in 2016, said going green would be prudent for businesses. “You need to have a business for the future,” Mr Chauhan said. “If we’re not going to pay any attention to the green business model today, there is that possibility that we might not have a business for the future.”
Cyclone Winston caused widespread damage in the country, racking up a damage bill worth 30 per cent of Fiji’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Photo: Sheldon Chanel