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By LITIA MATHEWSELL
The Fijian Government will host the 2nd United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCC) starting in Nadi today.
All preparations have gone ahead as planned and over fifty countries will converge and discuss issues pertaining to sustainable forest management.
UNFF Forest Affairs Officer Benjamin Singer was satisfied that the Fijian governments had met all the requirements of the meeting as planned.
The weeklong meeting of Forestry stakeholders from the Pacific Islands including the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Latin America including Small Island States is a follow up from consecutive meetings held earlier in Iran in September 2011, Niger in January this year, and most recently in September in Trinidad and Tobago.
“Whilst the main issue of relevance to the participating nations is to discuss the financing of Sustainable Forest Management, the gaps, obstacles and the need to enhance development in the industry, lessons learnt from this Fijian experience will certainly be replicated elsewhere in the world as part of our global integrated development” Mr Singer added.
Mr Singer said that with Fiji’s high Forest cover, whether it be for livelihood, mitigating or adapting to climate change forests which is paramount to the country, the ability for Fiji to take the leadership role in recognizing the financing of Sustainable Forest Management has been greatly acknowledged by the United Nations.
Deputy Conservator of Forests and Meeting coordinator Ratu Tomasi Kubuabola also confirmed that all logistical requirements have been met and promised that the meeting will commence as scheduled.
The five day meeting which is being held at Tanoa Internatioal Nadi from the 23-27th July, begins with a field tour of the Fiji Water company in Yaqara and Tropik Woods in Lautoka.
Fijian Minister for Primary Industries Joketani Cokanasiga will open the meeting.