NGO highlights sustainable approach

THE Wildlife Conservation Society believes information on sustainable development should be preached on a level playing field.

WCS programs community engagement officer Isoa Koroiwaqa said this was important to prevent future environmental impact.

Mr Koroiwaqa said one way of doing this was to involve farmers through the Ministry of Agriculture.

“We will try and work with the Ministry of Agriculture and inform them of how to go about with these developments but in a sustainable manner,” he said.

“In protecting our forests, we are at the same time protecting our water sources and if the water sources are used up then the Water Authority of Fiji and Government will use a lot of money to find a new water source.

“This means they will have to get new technologies to get water and while we still have water now, why can’t we think about protecting that source.”

Mr Koroiwaqa said in areas of valleys, there must be a buffer zone or an area of land designated for environmental protection.

“In this areas we cannot plant or cannot log and that is why we have the Department of Forests because they regulate the sector and they need to start implementing the laws on the ground,” he said.

“That’s one of the biggest challenges we face here in the North as we have logging companies.

“People need logging as a business to survive but they need to connect this with how we can do it in a sustainable manner.” Mr Koroiwaqa said they had also included the Ministry of Youth and Sports in the program because they believed youths were the most active group of people that used resources the most.

“In Bua when we talk about youths starting from Kubulau to Wainunu, we’re talking about young dalo farmers and we cannot change the way they farm so the resources we are talking about will be gone,” he said.

“This is why we are working closely with youths in agriculture so that the message is the same, to inform them not to cut down all the trees when they go out to plant dalo.”

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