Harry and Meghan Fiji visit: Fiji in Queen’s forest initiative

Prince Harry plants a Dakua tree at Colo-i-Suva yesterday. Picture: SIKELI QOUNADOVU

FIJI became the 43rd commonwealth country to have its forest park at Colo-i-Suva dedicated to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy yesterday after the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, officially unveiled a plaque to commemorate the event.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy is a project that aims to link all 53 Commonwealth countries in a canopy of sustainable forest conservation initiatives for future generations.

Speaking at the event, Prince Harry said the world could not ignore the reality of climate change currently being faced by vulnerable countries.

“I’ve been impressed with the Fijian understanding of how to work sustainably with your surroundings, I’ve seen today of how pandanus trees that grow in Colo-i-Suva can be used in the weaving of traditional mats.

“I’ve heard from local people and companies about how the preservation of the environment helps attract tourists, further contributing to the local economy. All of you depend on this beautiful piece of rainforests in some way, with a delicately balanced ecosystem which serves you so well and there is an obligation to protect it for the benefit of the next generation, it is a precious resource, but once lost, it can never be replaced,” he said.

The Prince later met students and villagers of Colo-i-Suva to view the many traditional handicraft items made from our forest and indigenous plants.

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