23 August 2018, Suva, Fiji - Exchange participants at the opening ceremony of the programme at the Ra provincial headquarter this week
A team from the Macuata provincial council are in Ra province this week to participate in an environmental exchange programme supported by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the RESCCUE Fiji project of the Pacific Community (SPC) coordinated by the Institute of Applied Sciences of the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Fiji programme.
Speaking at the launch of the exchange visit programme at the Ra provincial headquarters on Tuesday, 21st August, Project Manager of SPREP’s Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change Project (PEBACC), Mr Herman Timmermans explained that both the provinces of Macuata and Ra are engaged in province-wide environmental planning but to date, there is little interaction between them.
“The aim of the exchange programme is to provide an opportunity for stakeholders in both provinces engaged in environmental management planning to share experiences and lessons learnt to strengthen their respective planning processes. This is in recognition of the important role that sub-national institutions have in managing their environmental resources and ensuring that development processes are environmentally sound.
Assistant Minister for Rural & Marine Development, Mr Joeli Cawaki who is also the Head of the National Itaukei Resource Owners Committee (NTROC) was present at the opening of the workshop.
Roko Tui for the Ra Province, Mr Mosese Nakoroi in his speech welcomed the Macuata delegates to his province and encouraged everyone to make good use of the exchange programme.
"The development programs in Ra aim to change people's lives and after seeing the positive effect and change in our communities, we are willing to share this knowledge with others."
Conservation Officer for Macuata Provincial Council, Makelesi Raciri added that “it is a great opportunity for the community reps from Macuata to learn from the structure that Ra has implemented, how they are tackling their issues in terms of managing their natural resources towards development."
The exchange follows the official launch by the Prime Minister of the Ra Province Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) Plan on 2 August 2018.
RESCCUE Project Officer, Tomasi Tikoibua reiterated that “the launching of the ICM is a milestone set by Ra province, and the important part is the implementation of the plan, which is already underway.”
“The other provinces should learn from them and especially to take ownership of the projects so that sustainability will be there for future conservation.” Mr Tikoibua added.
The RESCCUE project has been working with the Ra Provincial Council and other stakeholders supporting a number of ecosystem conservation and restoration activities linked to the planning process.
In Macuata Province the PEBACC project is funding a review and update of the province’s Natural Resource Management Strategy (NRMS) with additional support for on-ground activities linked to reducing the impacts of land-based activities on the Qoliqoli Cokovata - a critical component of the larger Great Sea Reef which is in the process of being listed as a Ramsar site. WWF Fiji is partnering with PEBACC in implementing the programme.
The 3-day exchange programme involved visits to various sites in the Ra province and meetings with key ICM partners working in Ra at the Ra provincial office in Nanukuloa. Site visits were made to a riverine protected area in Burenitu, a gravel extraction site in Nausori and a reforestation and agro-forestry site in Nakauvadra.
For further information please contact:
Ms. Jilda Shem, PEBACC Communications Officer, [email protected] or +679 7731138
Ms Tui Marseu, WWF-Pacific Communications Manager, [email protected] or +679 3315533
RESCCUE: Restoration of Ecosystem Services against Climate Change.