Government under the Roadmap for Democracy and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development (Roadmap), encourages the sustainable use and development of Fiji’s natural resources and ecological processes. The objective is to ensure that degradation does not occur and that citizens are provided with a healthy clean environment. A strategy for this is to encourage awareness programme on environmental management with the purpose of mobilizing communities to manage their own environment without state or outside intervention.
iTaukei Institutions have embraced these principles acknowledging that the welfare of iTaukeicommunity is extended to include protecting natural resources and providing reliable advice for its sustainable use. The objective is to strategically encourage sustainable resource management from a reef to ridge perspective. The establishment of the National iTaukei Resource Owners Committee (NTROC), Joint Forum on Climate Change and representation at national forums on environment is a manifestation of this commitment. This also includes the endorsement of various climate change and environmental policies.
The Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area (FLMMA) network consists of members representing village communities, research institutes and international nonprofit organizations. The FLMMA network convenes to share information and ideas about conserving ocean life and engaging communities in decisions about resource management.
The idea of a locally managed marine area is based on the concept of a ‘traditional taboo’, that sparked a lot of interest when government officials and non-government members worked together to revive the ‘taboo’ in Verata in the 1990’s. The programme was successful, and because of the media coverage other communities were receptive of the idea to the extent that today there are 400 villages that have adopted the concept and are successfully managing their Qoliqoli.
The Ministry supports the FLMMA initiative and encourages communities to embrace the idea, whilst taking a more active role in the management of their natural resources. The Deputy Secretary is Chairman of the Executive Committee; and the Division collaborates with the network to ensure that iTaukei community interest are protected.