Country’s first-ever forest technical group holds talks over future of our forests
THE national government through its Forest ministry is working with stakeholders to pave way for successful sustenance of our forests.
A first-ever established forest technical working group has convened their first meeting at King Solomon conference room on Monday this week.
Technical experts, forest related international non-government organisations and donors including Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Wide Fund (WWF), Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Programme (PHAMA), Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), SPC/GIZ, UNDP, NZaid and Ausaid are in attendance.
This is a collaboration initiative led by the Ministry of Forest and Research (MOFR) with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on aim to share information and experiences as means to find way forward through strong collaboration where necessary.
Interim chairman and Ministry of Forestry and Research Permanent Secretary, Dr Vaeno Vigulu thanks all the organisations, donors and governments for their invaluable support in many ways since the past till now as crucial.
“The forestry sector is the main revenue generator for the government the past decades until recently.
“Thus this meeting is timely as the government is looking into ways to sustain the forest by promoting afforestation, reforestation, enrichment and regeneration management in the logged-over island rainforests.
“Also in the form of promoting non-timber forest products and aesthetic values of the island rainforests to support livelihoods to reduce reliance on timber products; more importantly promote sustainable forest management to progressively support the economy in the long term.”
Mr Vigulu adds the Ministry over the years had collaborations with many donor partners on various strategies and activities of priority policy area objectives of the government.
Thus it is proper that discussion here is equally important with presence of multi-stakeholders, to note what policy areas the Ministry has support from and other areas that there’s still need for assistance especially on initiatives to sustain or reduce the exploitation and reliance on forest timber products, he says.
“With such needs and the availability of the donor supports in terms of capacity building, technical know-how and logistics; this meeting was called to establish a working group.
“This working group allows for discussion and strategise on the way forward to avoid repetition of activities or re-inventing the wheels.
“As such this group will be the mechanism for sharing of information by all stakeholders.”
The Permanent Secretary then acknowledges Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for leading in making arrangements which now see the first-ever forest technical working group meeting eventuate.