ATTITUDE and mentality towards our environment conservation need to be changed, says Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere.
But he adds this can only be done if we learn about the importance and the reason behind preservation.
Speaking during the Vodafone Friendly North Carnival's Pacific Night, Ratu Wiliame said the young generation was the future guardians of the earth.
Ratu Wiliame said every generation must value the contribution of the environment in their lives.
"The simplest explanation as to why the environment matters is because of the sole reason that it serves our needs and those of the million biological lives on this planet," he said.
"It is where we live, breathe, eat and raise our young ones and the only place that they will, in turn, grow to live their lives.
"We have the power to destroy our environment but it does not give us the right to do so."
Ratu Wiliame said plants were very useful to the human population.
"Animals and other organisms depend on plants in many ways and as guardians of our frail ecosystems, we must inculcate in our children the idea of conservation," he said.
"Conservation needs to be inculcated into the minds of our young ones from the early stages of their lives because they are the future guardians of earth.
"We have the future in our hands right now and we can only fulfil a brighter future if we start teaching our children the basics and the needs for conserving our environment."
Ratu Wiliame said Fiji needed to protect its environment and natural resources because they were the country's major assets.
"This can be done if we encourage sustainable projects in the fields of aquaculture, agriculture and forestry," he said.