Forest and Trees

Forests and trees play significant roles in the lives of Pacific Islanders, economically, socially, culturally and environmentally. In many Pacific island countries, especially on the smaller islands and atolls, agroforestry and tree crops provide most of the food, medicines, construction materials, firewood, tools and myriad of other products and services that cannot be replaced with imported substitutions. For the larger countries, forests have contributed significantly into their economic development in terms of foreign exchange earnings, employment and infrastructure development. Thus, a major challenge for Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) is to ensure sustainable management of their scarce and diminishing forest and tree resources, taking into account demands for economic development and the social and environmental needs of their growing populations, LRD-SPC is addressing this under its Forest & Tree programme.

FAO collaborates with SPC for sustainable forest management
Friday, 31 October 2014 09:08

On 27 October a regional workshop was held at the Novotel Hotel in Lami, Fiji, with the main objective of providing an update on the progress of a project implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (SPC/FAO) – Strengthening regional support for national forest monitoring systems.


On 27 October a regional workshop was held at the Novotel Hotel in Lami, Fiji, with the main objective of providing an update on the progress of a project implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (SPC/FAO) – Strengthening regional support for national forest monitoring systems.

Pacific Island countries are eligible to benefit from reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) activities if they generate information on their forests and begin monitoring change over time, using robust and transparent systems. Such systems must include a multi-purpose forest inventory and a satellite forest monitoring system.

The SPC/FAO project is a response to the lack of capacity in most Pacific Island countries to set up and maintain national forest monitoring systems.

The workshop also provided an opportunity for the participating countries to share experiences on their national forest monitoring systems, and discuss the way forward regarding the extension of the project beyond May 2015, when the current project phase ends.

SPC is delivering its project outcomes through the Land Resources Division (LRD) and the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division.

Dr Andrew Haywood, FAO Regional Project Coordinator, in presenting the regional project, spoke on a range of topics, including the international context to the REDD+ and UN-REDD Programme.

Deputy Director of the Land Resources Division, Sairusi Bulai, who is leading the SPC component of the project, made a presentation on the progress of implementation by SPC in the area of forest inventory. In this regard, he acknowledged the support of the two UN-REDD Pacific member countries – Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands – for their unselfish act of supporting a regional approach to the project.

'We are most grateful to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands for supporting this regional approach. It ensures that the smaller countries, which cannot mobilise this kind of support on their own, will also benefit,' said Mr Bulai.

Forests provide many products and services that are vital to the well-being of Pacific communities. However, they must be managed in a sustainable manner for these contributions to be maintained and/or enhanced for the benefit of future generations. This

is especially critical now, given the Pacific Islands’ vulnerability to climate change and the important role that forests play in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Sustainable forest management regimes can only be effective, however, if accurate data and information about forests are available and maintained.

A total of 18 participants from Fiji, Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, SPC, FAO and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) attended the day-long workshop.

[Ends]

(For more information and media queries, please contact Mr Vinesh Prasad on email ID This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it --- +679 3370773, alternatively, for any further queries, you may contact the LRD helpdesk This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .)

 

We acknowledge our major donors/partners in supporting Forestry initiatives in the Pacific