SPREP and WWF seal partnership for environmental work in Macuata province, Fiji
The first is to review and update the provincial Natural Resource Management Strategy (NRMS), and the second is to broaden the Qoliqoli Cokovata (proposed Ramsar Wetlands Site) management plan to include management requirements of a Ramsar site i.e management of land-based activities as well as a cross sector governance team for the Ramsar Site.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, SPREP’s Acting Deputy Director General, Strategic Policy and Technical Programmes and Director - Island and Ocean Ecosystems, Stuart Chape welcomed the partnership as a great contribution to advancing environmental work at the provincial level.
Mr Chape also acknowledged WWF-Pacific’s excellent long term support to Macuata Province.
“SPREP’s approach is not to re-invent the wheel but to build on effective work by its partners that can meet joint project and programme objectives. The signing of the agreement today reflects this perspective and we look forward to working with WWF to further support Macuata Province.”
“WWF was instrumental in facilitating the provincial Natural Resource Management Strategy and Macuata Province is the first province in Fiji to have such a strategy. WWF has an active programme of support to the customary fishing grounds (qoliqoli) along much of Macuata Province’s coastline. The largest qoliqoli (Qoliqoli Cokovata) is being viewed by government and conservation stakeholders as a priority entry point in having the entire Great Sea Reef system established as a Ramsar Wetlands Site.”
“WWF is therefore a logical and appropriate choice as local partner for the joint implementation of PEBACC activities in Macuata Province.” Mr Chape said.
In her remarks, WWF–Pacific Representative, Mrs Kesaia Tabunakawai thanked SPREP for the funding support through PEBACC and confirmed WWF’s commitment to the work in Macuata.
“We are committed to helping Macuata Province. When we facilitated the development of the current Macuata Natural Resource Management Strategy, it was broad and it is now time to go back and see what was achieved and what was not and also learn about new developments.” Mrs Tabunakawai said.
The signing ceremony was also witnessed by Roko Tui Macuata’s representative, Provincial Conservation Officer, Makelesi Raciri.
“On behalf of Roko Tui Macuata, I would like to thank SPREP and WWF for the support to strengthen sustainable resource management in Macuata with a focus on land use and conservation. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.” Ms Raciri said.
Part of the work through this partnership will focus on reviewing and updating the Macuata NRMS that ends in 2018. The NRMS is key to strengthening environmental planning and management, and hence ecosystem-based adaptation, across the province.
The second intervention will address land-based activities in the Dreketi river catchment that negatively impact on the health and condition of Qoliqoli Cokovata.