UNDP urges Fiji to advocate for sustainable land management at Rio

28 Mar 2012

(Suva, Fiji) - Land management is important to many economic sectors in Fiji and Pacific island countries are well positioned to advocate sustainable land management needs at the Rio +20 Conference on Sustainable Development in June.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Deputy Resident Representative Toily Kurbanov made these remarks at a workshop to refine Fiji’s national action plan on sustainable land management.

“Land management encompasses many other sectors of the economy including forestry, agriculture, industrialization and tourism. With the increasing demand for land in Fiji, there is pressure to promote economic growth which is not only beneficial but does not compromise the ability of present as well as future generations to meet their needs,” said Mr Kurbanov opening the workshop on National Action Plan for Sustainable Land Management that started in Suva today.

The two-day workshop aims to finalize and re-align Fiji's National Action Plan to the 10 year strategy of the United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification (UNCCD). It is attended by representatives of Fiji’s ministries of Agriculture, Development and Strategic Planning, Civil society organizations, as well as UNDP, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and Secretariat of the Pacific Community.  

“This workshop is timely as it will assist Fiji to advocate for sustainable land management on behalf of Fiji and other Pacific Islands at the Rio +20 Conference on Sustainable Development,” said Mr Kurbanov.

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio+20, takes place in Brazil from June 20-22, and will be attended by a range of stakeholders from around the world, including heads of governments, development partners, civil society and UN agencies. The Conference aims to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges.

UNDP’s Fiji Sustainable Land Management Project, implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture since 2008 works with communities across Fiji, provides appropriate technical knowledge and enables communities to make informed decisions about their land use practices. The sharing of experiences including lessons learnt and best practices from demonstration sites which form part of this project will form key components of discussions at the workshop in Fiji.

Mr Kurbanov encouraged participants at the workshop to replicate the success stories from UNDP’s Fiji Sustainable Land Management Project and up-scale its impacts.