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To Thrive, Not Just Survive

To Thrive, Not Just Survive
The Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere (left), with Sitiveni Lalibuli during the launch of the Macuata Province Natural Resource Management
February 02
10:33 2015

Resource owners of Macuata province have united behind a Natural Resource Management strategy (NRM), launched last Saturday to better protect and manage their resources.

The first of its kind in Fiji, the NRM Strategy recognises that human welfare and the health of the environment are linked.

Speaking to the 15 district representatives of his province Tui Macauta Ratu Wiliame Katonivere said that the people of Macuata were connected to their natural resources.

“From the hearts of mountain villages and settlements, to the Great Sea Reef we acknowledge our natural resources have fed us, clothed us, put us through schools, filled our pockets and grown the northern division economy,” Ratu Wiliame said.

“We accept as well responsibility for its sustainable management. In this land we want to continue to thrive and not just survive.”

He said the NRM brought to life the spirit of Fiji’s Green Growth Framework for blue green economies. He encouraged other provinces in Fiji to adopt the NRM strategy as well.

“For the first time, the resource owners are included in the process and it’s not just people in urban centres making decisions, approving licenses for extraction and so forth.

“If all provinces adopt this strategy, we would all become building blocks propelling Fiji to achieve a blue/green economy.”

Labasa district representative Isoa Baleirotuma echoed his chief’s sentiments.

“It gives resource owners a voice. We have had it with developments for example gravel extraction that is adversely impacting our river ecosystems where we derive a source of income and food,” he said.

WWF-Pacific policy officer Alfred Ralifo who led the process of crafting and drafting the NRM strategy said it was now time for the people of Macuata to give life to the strategy by implementing it’s action plan.

“It’s up to the people to ensure the NRM strategy is a powerful vehicle for driving sustainable developments at the provincial level.”

WWF-Pacific worked with a broad range of stakeholders and the Macuata Provincial office to develop the strategy over two years.

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