WORKING with rural communities to educate and implement programs related to reforestation and reducing carbon emission are some of the assistance provided by the German Agency for International Cooperation.
Agency program director and senior adviser Dr Wulf Killmann said the agency was working with Department of Forestry to ensure the industry's social and environmental sustainability was viable for the future.
"We have been involved in forestry and land use issues in the region for more than 25 years," he said.
"In 1988 we started our first project with the Fiji Forestry Department and we have been working here since then.
"We have been supporting the Fiji Government in a number of forestry issues, for example, the Fiji REDD Plus policy, we have supported the review of the Fiji Forest Decree, we are supporting the Fiji REDD Plus Committee and we have also been supporting the development of the Fiji Climate Change Strategy and Policy."
He said apart from working at the policy level with national leaders, the agency had also introduced its programs to a number of rural communities.
"We are also at the ground level, for example, there are three mataqali that we work with from the yavusa of Emalu in Navosa Province.
"We work with different communities on forestry issues particularly reducing emissions from degradation and deforestation."
He said the issue of forest sustainability involved three aspects which policy makers must always consider.
"We have to look forward and there are three elements of sustainability and those are economics, social and environmental which are closely interlinked.
"We have a tendency as human beings to look at the economic side of things.
"Land use has quite a lot of impacts. We will not be able to have an economic viable future if we do not look at the social and environmental sustainability aspect of it as well."
The agency is also assisting government with similar projects in Labasa and Kadavu.