iTaukei Climate Change Terms Glossary
The Glossary, approved by Cabinet on November 20th, 2012, was developed under the leadership of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs in partnership with GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Department of Forests and the Ministry of Education.
The 22 pages Glossary contains 59 commonly used climate science phrases and words like resilience, acidification, carbon dioxide and deforestation translated to its iTaukei form for the first time.
Previously words like resilience, now translated as ‘iGu ni cokonaki’, had always been a challenge for climate change officers to communicate to iTaukei communities because there was no standard translation and the various ways it was translated potentially confused people.
Sequestration, deforestation, emissions, carbon sink, clean development mechanisms and carbon dioxide are some technical terms highlighted in the Glossary.
WWF South Pacific AusAid Building Resilience Project National Coordinator Stephanie Robinson said communication of climate change can be an effective means of stimulating mitigation and adaptation actions, provided communities understand and take ownership of the issue.
“To a considerable degree the challenge of tackling climate change is a challenge of communications,” she said.
“Climate change can be a complex issue to understand but standardizing climate change translation should help improve understanding and importantly ensure there is consistency in the messages that are being given out to the public,” she said.
“The use of vernacular or mother tongue remains a key aspect of communicating climate change, because people have enormous faith in what they are told in their local language by people they can identify with.”
Robinson also commended the move by the Ministry of Education to incorporate the glossary in all iTaukei curriculums from primary to secondary school levels.
Communications Manager Patricia Mallam said the Glossary is a significant milestone.
“This is a huge achievement as Fiji is the first in the Pacific, and among the few who have taken climate change seriously enough to develop a communications tool to help people to grasp what it really is,” she said.
“Furthermore, the glossary will assist not only scientists going out into the field, it will also assist journalists/media and the public to better understand and communicate using these terms in the context of climate change.”
The Glossary is one of the key steps in building resilience to climate change identified at the recent National Summit for Building Resilience to Climate change.