Lomaiviti Gears Up for Launch
The NRMS development for all of the 14 provinces is in line with the strategic plan of the iTaukei Affairs Board that has a plan to improve on natural resource management for all of the provinces.
Ministry of iTaukei Affairs Deputy Permanent Secretary Colonel Apakuki Kurusiga said the iTaukei is intrinsically linked to his natural resources and therefore the need to sustainably manage it.
“The focus of the board has now moved to conservation and sustainable management of natural resources because our identities, culture and traditions are linked to natural resources,” he said.
“Even food security, our livelihoods come into the picture.
“Macuata is the first to develop an NRMS and all provinces will follow suit.”
Working as a guide and blueprint for sustainable development, the strategy will advise those that make decisions on development in the province, the areas that can be developed without causing severe or irrevocable detriment to the natural environment.
Some areas of significant biodiversity and ancestral value that will be protected in the strategy include - offshore areas in Lomaiviti that are important cetacean migratory routes, the Vatu-i-Ra seascape that contains globally significant biodiversity hotspots, reef systems, the Gau shark spawning area, heritage sites on Ovalau island, turtle nesting beaches and ancestral village sites.
WWF South Pacific Policy Officer Alfred Ralifo said the strategy has been developed in line with international conventions that Fiji has ratified that include Convention on International Trades in Endangered Species (CITES), Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Framework on Climate Change and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
It also adheres to the objectives of local policies like the National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan, Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan and Fiji’s Climate Change Framework.
“An action plan for the strategy will be drawn in the next workshop we will have with stakeholders from the province before the NRMS is finalized,” he said.
The Lomaiviti Environment Committee that reports to the provincial office will monitor the implementation of the strategy.