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'Protect resources'

Serafina Silaitoga
Wednesday, December 06, 2017

MACUATA chief Ratu Wiliame Katonivere believes resource owners need to take ownership to preserve their environment first in order to strengthen the work with other stakeholders.

Ratu Wiliame, who also spoke at the COP23 meeting in Bonn, Germany, believes that the impacts of climate change has toughened lives of natural resources. "I spoke in Germany about protecting our qoliqoli and the ocean and I believe support from stakeholders and international bodies are intact," he said.

"However, it is us as resource owners that need to first show our commitment in protecting and preserving our environment against the impact of climate change.

"When we show the world that we are taking the first step to not only preserve our natural resources, but to also practise sustainable growth and conservation management, then when development happens at any scale level, the developers will work along these lines of conservation."

Ratu Wiliame said he had also witnessed an impact of climate change. "In the 1980s, those in our villages of Macuata would do their fishing activities just outside the village shores, but now they are travelling three to four kilometres to catch good fish for the market or for their families," he said.

"In saying this, we as landowners also need to have a common goal to control the fish market because right now, the middlemen are controlling the prices. So when fishermen who are resource owners directly sell the fish to the market, they will benefit greatly with good financial income."

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