Conservation bodies team up for environmental projects

(L-R)WWF Pacific's Kesaia Tabunakawai, Conservation Officer Makelesi Raciri and SPREP’s ADDG Strategic Policy and Technical Program Director Stuart Chape during the singing. Picture: SUPPLIED

A MEMORANDUM of agreement signed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – Pacific this week will support two major environmental projects for the province of Macuata.

The objective of the memorandum of agreement is to review and update the provincial Natural Resource Management Strategy (NRMS), and to broaden the Qoliqoli Cokovata (proposed Ramsar Wetlands Site) management plan to include management requirements of a Ramsar site.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, SPREP’s acting deputy director general for strategic policy and technical programs and director for island and ocean ecosystems, Stuart Chape, welcomed the partnership as a great contribution to advancing environmental work at the provincial level.

Mr Chape lauded WWF-Pacific’s long-term support to Macuata Province “The signing of the agreement today reflects this perspective and we look forward to working with WWF to further support Macuata Province,” he said.

“WWF was instrumental in facilitating the provincial Natural Resource Management Strategy (NRMS) and Macuata Province is the first province in Fiji to have such a strategy.

“The largest qoliqoli (Qoliqoli Cokovata) is being viewed by Government and conservation stakeholders as a priority entry point in having the entire Great Sea Reef system established as a Ramsar Wetlands Site.

“WWF is therefore a logical and appropriate choice as local partner for the joint implementation of PEBACC (Pacific Ecosystems-based Adaptation to Climate Change project) activities in Macuata Province.”

WWF-Pacific representative Kesaia Tabunakawai thanked SPREP for the funding support through PEBACC and confirmed WWF’s commitment to the work in Macuata.

“We are committed to helping Macuata Province and when we facilitated the development of the current Macuata NRMS, it was broad and it is now time to go back and learn about new developments,” she said.

The Macuata Provincial Council was represented by its conservation officer, Makelesi Raciri.

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