Protecting their Natural Inheritance
A youth representative for the districts of Wailevu, Cikobia, Mali and Labasa Samuela Naqa said their only inheritance is their natural resources, assets that they will use to maintain their livelihoods.
“Many youths remain in the villages doing farming or fishing and that’s all they have to generate income that allows them access to education, health services, food and other needs,” Naqa said.
“But if such resources are not sustainably managed now, then we will be robbed of our inheritance.
“For some other ethnic groups, the culture of leaving behind a sum of money, a business or house is popularly practiced but for us our natural resource is our only inheritance.”
Naqa who is a youth worker attached with the Macuata Provincial Council said the rate of school dropouts amongst youths from the districts is high so they all return home to the village to make a living.
“For many, life on the land is a way of life and after a few years in school they return home banking on their natural resources to tide them through life.”
The NRM strategy that is in its draft stage is the result of consultations carried out by WWF South Pacific and the Macuata Provincial Council office with stakeholders that include representatives of youth groups.
A workshop, held in Labasa in August, identified the key components of the strategy that is underpinned by a vision for developments to occur but in a sustainable manner, that protects the food security and interests of resource owners.
The Macuata NRM strategy is expected to be launched next year.