One Step Closer to a Natural Resource Management Strategy
Josaia a farmer of Dreketi depends completely on land passed down through generations to earn an income to meet family, church and vanua needs.
The initial outline of Macuata province’s Natural Resource Management Strategy (NRMS) has been completed and will now be carried into the next round of drafting, planned for the next stakeholder meeting this December.
WWF South Pacific Senior Policy Officer Alfred Ralifo said an action plan for the different thematic areas of the strategy will be put together during the December meet.
The various themes of the strategy identified during the first consultation in August at the Labasa Town Hall include;
• Biodiversity with the recommendation that it be aligned to the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan
• Capacity building
• Sustainable financing
• Policy and Advocacy
• Sustainable Economic Development
“After one more consultation with stakeholders - when the action plans are to be formulated, we will review the draft and launch the strategy proper,” Ralifo said.
“The strategy talks about development and encourages it in a sustainable way. For example the need to ensure, processes like Environmental Impact Assessments, waste management and rehabilitation, eventuate.”
A strong emphasis on advocating the strategy with communities is expected to empower communities with knowledge about the impacts developments have on the state of their natural resources and its effects on food and water security.
“This will protect communities when they deal with investors and protects their interests by making sure that when investors are done making money from their natural resources, they don’t leave behind a devastated ecosystem,” Ralifo said.
A Macuata Yaubula (natural resource) committee will oversee the implementation of the strategy on the basis of the action plans that are to be constructed this December.