NEWS

Catchments Major Priority For Ridge To Reef Project

Catchments in the greater Viti Levu and Vanua Levu area have been selected as major priority areas under a Ridge to Reef Project. Assistant Minister for Local Government and Environment
07 Apr 2017 14:01
Catchments Major Priority For Ridge To Reef Project
Assistant Minister for Local Government and Environment Lorna Eden at Studio Six on April 6, 2017. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga

Catchments in the greater Viti Levu and Vanua Levu area have been selected as major priority areas under a Ridge to Reef Project.

Assistant Minister for Local Government and Environment Lorna Eden said: “This project will lead to development and implementation of Protected Area management plans which will secure and enhance the protection of our people’s natural resources though necessary means.”

At the meeting and workshop for the Fiji Ridge to Reef project in Suva yesterday, Ms Eden said the project was known as ‘implementing a ridge to reef approach to preserve ecosystem services, sequester carbon, improve climate resilience and sustain livelihoods in Fiji’.

The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Ms Eden said the priority catchments include the Ba River, Tuva River and Waidina River/Rewa Delta on Viti Levu and the Labasa River, the Vunivia River and Tunuloa district of Vanua Levu.

She said these catchments encompass diverse and geographically dispersed groups, with markedly different environments and scales, intensities of land use, degradation, challenges and opportunities.

She said through the communities, the project would create economic empowerment, leadership, and ownership of the catchment sites.

Ms Eden acknowledged GEF and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for making Fiji’s dream of combining Climate Change Mitigation, Combatting Land Degradation, and Conservation of Biodiversity as an integrated approach, all into a single project.

She said the project encompasses the concept of Ridge to Reef and it is the first of its kind for Fiji through GEF allocations of US$7.39 million (FJ$15.44m) with the assistance of UNDP.

“With Fiji being co-sponsor this year of the United Nations Oceans Conference and President of COP23, projects like this, elevates Fiji’s global profile in terms of battling with problems of climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss with innovative solutions and community engagement.”

She said the project marks another successful landmark achievement by Government to ensure that the economy is vibrant, resilient and sustainable in years to come.

The two-day workshop which ends today includes participants such as UNDPs Winifereti Nainoca, Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea, Roko Tui’s from various provinces, civil society organisations and senior Government officials.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj

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