Monday, December 2, 2013

Redefining a sustainable Pacific future

By Priya Chand journalism student at the University of the South Pacific. 

2 December 2013, Suva Fiji - Pacific Island countries need to find long-term mechanisms in order to adapt to the changing environment, says Mr Taholo Kami, the current Chair of the Pacific Island Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT).
He said while short-term mechanisms lasting three to five years were good, there was a need to strengthen the commitment and redefine what a sustainable Pacific future was.
“A sustainable and a green blue economy is where our natural environment is intact and well managed, where our people are happy and healthy and where our economy sustains us,” he said.
Mr Kami said in order for this to prevail, it was important to put an "extraordinary" emphasis on strengthening society by long-term reinforcement of governance systems.
He was speaking at the 9th Pacific Island Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas which opened at the Vodafone Arena in Suva, Fiji today.
“Leadership should be made very clear in which direction we are heading off to,” Mr Kami said.

“Thus, environmental policies and priorities need to be made clearer.”
He also said securing funding for long-term projects was equally important and that governments could come up with tactics to accommodate it.
Mr Kami applauded the Fiji Government policy to direct some of the takings from the increased departure tax from 2014 toward environment initiatives.
“For example, if you are doing a community environment project and run out of money, that money from the tax can be utilised and the project will not come to a halt,” he said.
“Through this conference this week, we will celebrate the partnerships that have been formed, refocus our roadmap and rethink our engagement with Governments, partners, communities.”

The conference theme is 'Natural Solutions: Building Resilience for a Changing Pacific.’

Priya Chand is a member of the Media Team providing coverage of the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas from 2 to 6 December in Suva, Fiji.  This is a partnership between the Fiji National University (FNU), University of the South Pacific (USP), SPREP and Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) whereby a team of 10 journalism students are mentored by senior reporters as they cover the conference.  This activity is  funded by the Pacific Assistance Media Scheme (PACMAS).

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