Sustainable Development Plans: A first for Nacula and Nailaga districts
The 2018-2038 Sustainable Development Plans is a partnership between the communities of the two districts, and the World Wide Fund for Nature – Pacific (WWF-Pacific) through its USAID Pacific American Climate Fund (PACAM) ‘Strengthening Governance and Building Resiliency of Communities in Fiji’ and German funded IKU ‘Living with Change: Resilient Mangroves, Fisheries and People of Fiji and PNG’ projects.
The Sustainable Development Plans were developed through series of consultations over the last three years, between the rural and urban communities of Nacula and Nailaga districts, and relevant stakeholders that included Government aligned ministries.
Chief Guest at the launch, Acting Commissioner Western, Joji Satakala highlighted the launch was a testament to the partnership Government has with its stakeholders.
“It has taken a lot of commitment and perseverance to get to where we are today and I applaud the efforts shown by the districts and stakeholders. Access to sustainable water sources, education, transportation, health and wellbeing, economic security, women development, youth development, sustainable management of natural resources to climate change, still remain challenges that are faced by communities here in Fiji.”
“The 20 Year Sustainable Development Plans that will be launched today will go a long way in ensuring these communities of Nailaga and Nacula districts are equipped with the necessary tools to address such issues. The 2018-2038 Sustainable Development Plans provides a road map towards strengthened development but more importantly, that development is carried out sustainably.”
“This is a hallmark goal for Government and something the relevant Government stakeholders are working at achieving with its stakeholders,” highlighted Satakala.
According to WWF-Pacific’s project climate change support officer, Apolosa Robaigau, the 2018-2038 District Sustainable Development Plans are aligned to the Fiji National Green Growth Framework, Fiji National Development Plan, other relevant national policies and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Robaigau added that through the extensive and inclusive participatory consultations, twelve thematic areas were identified which included; Education, Spiritual Development, Health and Wellbeing, Sustainable Water Sources, Energy, Transportation, Economic Security, Women Development, Youth Development, Traditions and Cultures, Traditional Leadership and Governance, Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, to Climate Change and Sustainable Financing.
According to WWF-Pacific IKU project manager, Alfred Ralifo, the plans are intended to enhance proper management of natural resources at the district level through empowerment, awareness, capacity building, hands on experiential training and adoption of best practice.
"The SD Plans ensures that these grass-root communities’ Environmental, Economic and Social aspirations are integrated into their community development plans in a strategic manner for a prosperous resilient and sustainable future. The onus is now on the Fiji Government, the Private Sector, development partners, donor agencies and other relevant stakeholders to work together to support these communities realise their vision," added Ralifo.
Nacula district consists of seven villages and a population of around 1,315 whilst Nailaga district consists of six villages and four settlements and a population of around 2,326.