Women and Fiji’s blue economy study

Roslyn Dass-Nand is a Masters student funded by the EU and the Intra-ACP GCCA+ Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building (PACRES) Programme. She is also a climate change activist at the University of the South Pacific. Her interests are the blue economy, food security and gender equity. Roslyn's Masters study focuses on integrating gender equity into small-scale fisheries to improve food security and resilience in Fiji.



To support this study, Roslyn published an article in the Women in Fisheries Newsletter (#34) and noted the lack of information on the role of women in the small-scale fisheries sector. Fisheries data are documented for direct, formal and paid fishing activities, which are mostly carried out by men. 
Activities carried out by women are unpaid, informal and indirect, and as such are not recognised and reported. This paints an incomplete picture of women’s role in small-scale fisheries, undervaluing their contribution towards food security, small-scale fisheries resource management and building resilience in the Pacific Island countries. 



By profession Roslyn is a high school teacher specialising in the area of chemistry and food science. Her contribution towards enhancing academic teaching and learning at the high school level had been immense for over a decade. Roslyn is working on examining and documenting the role of women in small-scale fisheries in the Tailevu and Serua coastal communities of Fiji. She is examining the impacts of climate change on small-scale fisheries, particularly on food insecurity in these Fijian coastal communities. 

The overriding issue is that for small-scale fisheries, food security and livelihood cannot be effectively managed, improved, and transformed if women are not precisely represented in statistics, research, and decision-making. Through her contribution, Roslyn hopes to provide recommendations for future researchers and policymakers to better understand gender equity in small-scale fisheries and how it can be integrated into better coastal resource management and policy planning to increase food security and resilience in Fiji.

Roslyn is very involved in climate action, especially with young people. She participated virtually in COP26 as an observer supporting the Fiji Delegation in Glasgow. Through her virtual participation, Roslyn was able to attend some of the bilateral and multilateral discussions. 
In reviewing the outcomes of COP26, Roslyn points out that ‘despite not being able to bring together nations to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, the “Glasgow Climate Pact” has yet again set the groundwork for scaling up of climate actions’.