Sweetening Our Ecological Footprint
The WWF South Pacific is developing its Sugar Programme for Fiji which aims to assist the sugar industry in reducing its ecological footprint and minimizing its effects on biodiversity.
Broadening our strategy and engaging with industry is part of WWF SPPO’s natural progression towards a ‘footprint’ focussed programme that decreases human impacts on biodiversity. Reducing our ecological footprint aligns with WWF’s global Network Initiatives for Market Transformation, Global Climate and Energy, Smart Fishing, and the Coral Triangle.
As a part of this programme’s development, the WWF SPPO’s Sugar Programme Development Coordinator, Ryan Collins, recently visited Queensland to learn about the cane industry in Australia, and the environmental and socio-economic impacts of sugar production.
One of the major aims of the trip was to gain knowledge on how to reduce the ecological footprint of cane production on coral reefs and to determine which techniques might be transferrable to the sugar industry in Fiji, benefiting communities, business and nature.
Collins joined colleagues Kevin Orgorzalek and David McLaughin from WWF US (Market Transformation Network Initiative), and Rob Cairns and Juliette King from WWF Australia (Sustainable Agriculture) in engaging cane growers, agricultural advisory providers, sugar producers, and natural resource management officers.
It was also a chance to learn about the expanding ‘Project Catalyst’, which focuses on cutting edge practices in the sugar industry, such as water quality improvements and soil health.