Fiji launches national REDD-Plus policy
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 10:34

 Fiji REDD+ Policy cover, Feb 2011
The Fiji REDD-Plus (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation + enhancing and increasing carbon stocks) policy was launched in Suva on Wednesday, 9 March 2010 by Mr Viliame Naupoto, the Fiji Permanent Secretary for Fisheries and Forests and also Chairman of the Fiji National Climate Change Country Team. The launch was held at the Holiday Inn and was attended by guests from several  sectors and agencies.

Mr Naupoto described the event as a momentous one, and he congratulated the many stakeholders on their achievement of developing the policy. The policy will contribute towards strengthening the country’s efforts to manage forest resources sustainably, while at the same time mitigating climate change. Mr Naupoto also highlighted the important side benefits of REDD-Plus initiatives, such as the protection and enhancement of ecosystem services provided by forests. These services include the provision of clean water, wild edible plants, fertile soil and sources of livelihood.

The Fiji REDD-Plus policy was formally endorsed by cabinet in December 2010 after a comprehensive stakeholder consultation process that began with its first drafting in September 2009. The policy will be implemented through a national REDD-Plus programme that will aim at putting in place supporting institutional and legal frameworks to ensure transparency, good governance and observance of safeguards, such as protection of the rights of indigenous resource owners. The national REDD-Plus programme will also address technical components of REDD-Plus, such as the establishment of a forest carbon monitoring system.

L-R Mr Jope Davetanivalu (Director, Fiji Department of Environment), Dr Hermann Fickinger (GIZ Programme Director), Adi Meretui Ratunabuabua (Principal Cultural Development Officer, Fiji), Mr Viliame Naupoto (Permanent Secretary, Fiji Ministry of Fisheries and Forests)Speaking on the implementation of REDD-Plus, the Director of the Fiji Department of Environment, Mr Jope Davetanivalu, highlighted the synergies that will be created with the other Rio conventions such as the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Department of Environment is one of the key stakeholders in REDD-Plus and collaboration with the Forestry Department has been strengthened in the last two years with the Forestry Department joining the Fiji negotiation team as lead REDD-Plus resource persons at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meetings.

Also present at the launch was the Fiji Principal Cultural Development Officer, Adi Meretui Ratunabuabua, who noted the policy provisions for safeguarding indigenous rights and commented that this provision aligns with national, regional and international frameworks on indigenous knowledge and culture. She urged that the implementation process also consider these frameworks.

The Fiji REDD-Plus initiative is supported through the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) Regional Programme — Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region.  In his address to the guests, Dr Hermann Fickinger, Programme Director for GIZ, said that the policy was developed through constructive teamwork and cooperation, reflecting the healthy partnerships and collaborations existing among stakeholders. The successful partnership between SPC, GIZ and the Fiji Forestry Department was forged over two decades of development cooperation, and it continues through the Fiji REDD-Plus programme.

The Fiji REDD-Plus Policy can be downloaded from http://www.spc.int/lrd/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=211&Itemid=48

For further information, contact Mr Samuela Lagataki, Fiji Deputy Conservator of Forests, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and Ms Christine Fung, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .