Land Management and Resources Policy Support

The promotion of sustainable resource management relies on creating the appropriate enabling policy frameworks for sustainable resource management. Such frameworks could include, for example, codes of logging practice and land use guidelines. LRD works with PICTs to develop or revise policies, plans and legislation based on national needs and priorities. A crucial aspect of this is ensuring that policy revisions take account of crossing-cutting issues such as climate change, food security, gender, youth.

EU – SPC open Lautoka Project Office and sign Euro 4 million Contribution Agreement to assist Sugar
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 16:05

Mr Marcus Cornaro, the Deputy Director General of EuropeAid and Dr Jimmie Rodgers Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) will officially open the European Union (EU)/SPC Lautoka office in Marine Drive today before signing a contribution agreement to implement micro projects to assist the Fiji Sugar Industry.

The 43-month programme, with a total budget of 4m Euros, will be implemented by the SPC LRD and like Improving Key Services to Agriculture (IKSA); the SPC LRD will be managing the Implementation of the Micro Projects (IMP).

According to Dr Jimmie Rodgers the sugar industry has been the mainstay of Fiji’s economy for a number of years, contributing about 35% of total agricultural exports in 2012.

‘However, the industry currently faces a number of challenges, including the reduction in the number of sugarcane farmers, lack of investments in farms and in the industry infrastructure like access roads and milling equipment’s, and the removal of the EU support subsidy terms of preferential access and pricing.’

‘A downturn in the industry will have significant negative impacts on many people, including farmers, cane cutters, mill workers, and so on, especially the weaker and vulnerable sections of these groupings e.g. women and children and the poor in general.’ Dr Rodgers said.

Therefore, he added, the EU, , under its Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol Countries, is responding to this situation by funding the implementation of a number of programmes with the main aim of mitigating the adverse effects of the changes to the Fiji sugar industry on those who depend on it.

‘Under the EU Social Mitigation Programme for 2011, SPC is implementing the project on the Improvement of Key Services to Agriculture (IKSA) to provide direct support to cane farmers to improve their practices and supplement their incomes from sugarcane through the production of horticultural crops.’

The Implementation of Micro-Projects (IMP), the Contribution Agreement of which is going to be signed today is funded under the EU Social Mitigation Programme for 2012 with the main objective of reducing social, economic and environmental vulnerability of sugarcane farmers and mill workers impacted by the sugar industry reform through the provision of micro-projects.

The IMP project will result in the implementation of at least 50 micro-projects throughout the Viti Levu and Vanua Levu sugarcane belts. Main focus will be in the areas of safe water supply and integrated sanitation, education access, sugarcane belt region transport system, rural electrification, infrastructure and healthcare facilities that would encourage income generating activities.

Beneficiaries will include the 200,000 people living in the sugar cane belts whose livelihoods rely in whole or in part on sugarcane farming. The project will address the collective infrastructural needs of communities in the sugarcane belts rather than individual farmers. It also focuses on the needs of women household members in relation to on and off-farm activities.

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Land Use Planning is becoming increasingly important in the Pacific. If demographic trends continue there will be increasingly urgent need to match land systems, soil types and land uses in the most rational way possible, to optimize sustainable resource development and management to meet the needs of society.

A participatory 'bottom up' planning process should begin at the local level utilizing fully the experience and local knowledge of landowners and users to identify priorities and to draw up and implement plans.

Some guidelines which need to be adapted to the local context are available at http://www.fao.org/docrep/T0715E/t0715e00.htm