Climate change and forests: awareness for Fiji’s provincial administrators
Thursday, 13 December 2012 15:22

Thursday 13 December 2012, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva

Roko Tuis at the workshopA better understanding and knowledge of climate change, issues related to it and Fiji’s national REDD+ programme were the main expectations of participants at the Climate Change and Forests awareness and training workshop organised for all provincial administrators (roko tui) of Fiji. The two-day workshop was held in Suva from 10 to 11 December. More than 40 provincial administrators, assistant administrators, and officers from the iTaukei Affairs Board participated in the workshop. Resource persons came from the Forestry Department, the Language Unit of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, Conservation International, Live and Learn Environmental Education, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Land Resources Division and the SPC/GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation) Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region (CCCPIR) Programme

In opening the workshop, Mr Inoke Wainiqolo, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests, highlighted the important roles forests play in absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and in storing enormous amounts of carbon. He said that, given these crucial roles, slowing or halting deforestation was an obvious action to mitigate climate change. Mr Wainiqolo went on to urge the administrators to actively participate in the workshop in order to increase their understanding of climate change and REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation + forest conservation, sustainable management of forests and carbon stock enhancement) so that they can effectively and accurately pass on this knowledge to the iTaukei forest owners of their province.

At the end of the workshop, participants expressed their appreciation and acknowledged the resourcefulness of the workshop. The erudite facilitators and presenters, the resource materials, and the interactive process contributed enormously to broadening the participants’ understanding of climate change and, particularly, REDD+.  Mr Timoci Namotu, Manager of the Provincial Services of the iTaukei Affairs Board, said that most of the presentations were very simple yet informative.

Dr Wulf Killmann delivering the closing statementIn his closing remarks, Apakuki Kurusiga, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the iTaukei Affairs Board, thanked the organisers. He said the workshop would contribute towards improving their services in all 14 provinces of Fiji. The workshop was officially closed by Dr Wulf Killmann, GIZ Program Director and Senior Advisor. Dr Killmann emphasised the important role the roko tui play: a conduit to the local communities. This places a lot of responsibility on them and requires them to always stay informed. Dr Killmann added that SPC/GIZ CCCPIR is committed to supporting the capacity building of the roko tui in this regard.

The workshop was organised by the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, the Forestry Department and SPC/GIZ CCCPIR.

For more information, please contact Christine Fung: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it