On a clear day, Soliyaga, a centuries-old Fijian village on Beqa Island, captivates with breathtaking beauty. The village’s 26 houses are nestled into several acres of flat land between Beqa’s mountainous interior and a deep bay. But this idyllic calm belies the village’s increasingly cloudy future.

Residents have long relied on the land and ocean to sustain their livelihoods. Beqa’s interior is abundantly fertile, enabling villagers to cultivate staples of the Fijian diet, such as cassava, dalo, coconuts and pineapple. They sell them to nearby resorts or in the Navua and Suva markets, an hour away by boat. From the bay, villagers collect fish, crabs, prawns and other marine animals.

Soliyaga’s setting has always left it vulnerable to weather and climate events. Tropical rains can cascade down the mountains and inundate the village. At high tide, Soliyaga has no visible beach, making it vulnerable to storm surge. Historically, Soliyaga would experience a handful of flooding or cyclone events every couple of years — not ideal, but manageable.

In recent years, though, such flood events have become more frequent and intense. Inland flooding or storm surge occur multiple times a year, damaging and destroying houses. The sea has noticeably risen and threatens the village’s water supply and soil. Fishing spots, once plentiful, have become more unpredictable as warmer, more acidic waters disrupt the marine ecosystem.

Villagers have tried to adapt. They built canals to divert inland floodwaters around the outside of the village, as well as a sea wall. But the canals still allow seawater to flow into the village, and the sea wall is already cracking.

Soliyaga is hardly alone in these challenges: Villages just like it throughout Fiji and other island nations face similar escalating threats from climate change. But unlike many other countries, Fiji has a blueprint for protecting vulnerable communities such as Soliyaga.

As part of its ongoing partnership with the Fijian Climate Change and International Cooperation Division (CCICD), WRI’s Finance Center helped develop a National Climate Finance Strategy for Fiji. The strategy pinpoints projects best suited to protect the country’s at-risk communities.

Unlike most other countries’ climate-related plans, the strategy is based on an analysis of how much money the country will need to meet its climate goals, which projects are already receiving financial support and which climate priorities are underfunded. It was created through widespread consultation with nearly all of Fiji’s government ministries and development partners.