News & Press Releases

CTA Media Programme Launched in Fiji

Following its 2009 seminar on media and agricultural and rural development, CTA has launched its new Media Programme, choosing to host the first Media Planning Seminar in the Pacific. The meeting was organized by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) with support from CTA and the German development organization, GTZ.

The Media Planning Seminar for the Pacific region took place from 10-14 May 2010, in Nadi, Fiji. During the Opening Ceremony, the Minister of Environment, Local Government, Urban Development and Housing, Col. Samuela Saumatua, made a call to the participants to put people at the centre of media planning efforts if sustainable development was to be achieved in the region.

The more than 40 participants, who included journalists, media proprietors, agricultural specialists, scientists and academics came from:

Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. Other experts from SPC, Australia and New Zealand also attended.

Importance of agricultural biodiversity in the Pacific

20 MAY 2010 SUVA (SPC) ----What is agricultural biodiversity? We often hear about the word “biodiversity”, and when we do, we think of forests and inspiring species, such as the gorilla and the panda. The global media highlight the threats to some of these incredible species and thankfully also tell us when a new species is found.

But what exactly is meant by agricultural biodiversity? Agricultural biodiversity is a sub-set of biodiversity and without it, we would have no food. Since agriculture began, over 10,000 years ago, approximately 7,000 plant species and several thousand animal species have been used for human consumption.

However, it would be wrong to define agricultural biodiversity as just the plants and animals that we eat - its value stretches beyond these crop and animal species, and includes all forms of life directly relevant to agriculture, so not just crops and livestock but also organisms such as soil fauna, weeds, pests and predators.

Thinking strategically about the future of forestry

Delegates at a regional forestry workshop being held in Nadi, Fiji identified population growth, land tenure, unsustainable agricultural practices, political will and environmental shocks as important issues affecting the development of the forestry sector.

The workshop brought together senior government officials from the Pacific Islands to discuss the future of forestry in the region.

Policy Updates – Focus on Fiji and Tonga forests

Fiji's Forest Policy

A new forest policy for Fiji was endorsed by Cabinet in November 2007, replacing the existing forest policy, which dated from 1950.
The policy review and formulation process began in 2003 when, in response to a request from Fiji’s Forestry Department, LRD, with the support of GTZ (German Technical Cooperation), agreed to provide the technical and funding assistance required.

Given the changes that have taken place since the 1950s, a review was necessary to ensure that the policy adequately addressed the changing demands on Fiji’s forests, in terms of balancing the country’s economic, social and environmental needs. It also needed to address Fiji’s obligations under the various international agreements and conventions that it has signed. Lastly, but most importantly, the new policy had to be more broad-based than the 1950 policy.
To a great extent, the new forest policy satisfies these needs. Its main thrusts are as follows:

  • Change from forest sector planning to integrated natural resources  management
  • Transition from timber exploitation to sustainable forest management
  • Empowerment of land owners to adopt sustainable management practices