Climate Change and Landcare – Sabeto Catchment, Fiji
Climate Change and Landcare Workshops, September 28 – October 02, 2015.
Agricultural activities form the backbone of Fiji’s national economies, and forestry is important for the high island countries in the Pacific like Fiji. The demands for limited and finite natural resource are increasing in all Pacific communities. The formation of Landcare groups in local communities can promote the adoption of conservation practices and foster cooperation between communities, land users and government agencies. These Landcare groups can be used to assist in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of land use policies.(SPC Policy Brief 2008).
The Western Region of Viti Levu serves as Fiji’s tourism and agricultural hub. In recent years it has endured intense cyclones, longer dry spells and severe flooding along the heavily populated coastal areas but the damage can be quite evident further inland as well. The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture has been implementing a climate change and food security project in the Sabeto catchment in Nadi. The project aims to enhance the climate change resilience of land based food production system in communities in the catchment. This includes diversifying food production through the establishment of community nurseries which will house tree seedlings, climate resilient crops, vegetables and fruit seedlings.
ACIAR has a recent history of support for forestry and agriculture, particularly adapted vegetable and tropical fruit production, in the South Pacific, with a base at the SPC, Suva. (See ACIAR’s Pacific Crops Research Program Strategy (2009))
Ian Oxenford and Andrea Mason will represent ALI at the training course which will draw on the recent ACIAR forestry and agricultural production knowledge to build capacity for change in both the local communities and technical staff attending. Specifically the aim of the training is to build community awareness, participation, skills and knowledge in sustainable food production, caring of the environment and to improve ecosystems services through appropriate management of land resources.
Villagers chosen are successful farmers, village leaders and others active in village life. They have an understanding of local conditions and limited knowledge on produce marketing and community action. The participants are the initial members of 3 Landcare groups set up by SPC last year. Many staff and villagers participated in the original surveys of the Sabeto catchment.
Training will be provided by SPC, Ministry of Agriculture and Australian Landcare International. Funding was gratefully received from Crawford Fund. Follow us our progress on Facebook