FORESTRY experts from the Pacific have gathered in Nadi for a four-day regional forestry meeting to discuss sustainable forest management.
Deputy director general at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community Fekita Utoikamanu said regional countries would be able share information and discuss new initiatives and emerging issues at the meeting.
"SPC fully supports and promotes this exchange of information and sharing of experiences learnt among the countries in the region, particularly on the success stories relating to the use of new strategies, policies and programmes," she said.
"Forests and trees play a vital role, both in climate change, mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, livelihood enhancement and income generation for Pacific Islanders.
"However, forests and trees are only able to do this effectively if these valuable resources are conserved, managed and utilised in a sustainable manner."
She said better managed and healthy forests were able to adapt better to climate change and contributed to the improved resilience of the communities that rely on these resources.
"We are all aware of these facts, but we also fully recognise that achieving or even moving closer to this ideal state is easier said than done due to a variety of reasons, and highlighting the number of challenges that we in the Pacific are currently facing.
"These include unsustainable logging practices, inadequately planned human developments and the unregulated conversion of forested areas into agriculture."