|Boost for sustainable forest management in Fiji, Niue and Tonga|
|Wednesday, 17 June 2015 13:29|
A joint project between the Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management (APFNet) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has been launched this week in Nadi, Fiji.
The USD 666,500.00 project will boost the sustainable management of forests in Fiji, Niue and Tonga.
The three-year initiative will focus on providing effective strategies and mechanisms for the effective implementation, enforcement and monitoring of forest management plans and codes of logging and harvesting practices.
The Assistant Executive Director of APFNet, Xia Jun, was optimistic about the project and said his organisation was keen to work with SPC to support Pacific Community members.
“We look forward to working with SPC and the economies of Fiji, Niue and Tonga to support them in managing their forestry resources sustainably, as the Pacific region is very important to us,” Mr Xia said.
Sustainable forest management is a dynamic and evolving concept that aims to maintain and enhance the economic, social and environmental value of all types of forests, for the benefit of present and future generations.
Fifteen senior forestry officials from the participating governments have just completed two days of training in Nadi to kick-start the project.
According to a Deputy Director of SPC’s Land Resources Division, Sairusi Bulai, the new project would enable Fiji, Niue and Tonga to make further progress with their forestry policies and legislation and to access assistance from SPC with on-ground implementation of their respective national codes of harvesting practices and forest management plans.
“Such projects are vital for Pacific Community members to enhance their capacity in managing their forestry resources in a sustainable manner, and training of stakeholders in the industry will be one of the project’s main components,” Mr Bulai said.
“I wish to acknowledge the support of APFNet for coming on board for such a great initiative.
“Our member countries and territories have different challenges in terms of their forestry resources. Through this project we’ll assist three of them to develop appropriate strategies to help them implement their existing policies, such as code of logging practices,” Mr Bulai said.
He added that Fiji, Niue and Tonga would be equal partners in implementation for its success.