DFO North – Tevita Bulai on the Understanding the Fiji National REDD+ Programme workshop held in November 2016. The REDD+ Unit asked of his views on the workshop and this is what he had to say.
1. How did you find the two days’ workshop on Understanding REDD+?
The concept of REDD+ is complicated but the two days’ workshop helped a lot as it was very informative. I was able to understand the rationale behind REDD+ and the different types of activities and carbon pools under the REDD+ programme.
2. How useful do you find REDD+ to your area of work?
Vanua Levu contributes more than 70% of the total native timber production in Fiji and most of our rural communities rely on forest harvesting for their livelihood. The challenge is to ensure the long term sustainability of these forests in the face of increasing pressure from forest owners to harvest their forests. REDD+ is useful in this regard as it provides alternative livelihoods including the opportunity to earn money from other forestry products and services apart from timber.
3. Do you have any plans this year to incorporate REDD+ with the plans and activities of Forestry work in the Northern Division?
This year our plan is to promote REDD+ through exhibition, trade show, village, district and provincial meetings.
4. Are there any possible sites in the North into which REDD+ activities can be implemented?
There was an interest shown by a Mataqali from Loa village in Cakaudrove but they could not meet the required minimum area of 2,000 hectares under the REDD+ programme. They are informed to encourage other Mataqalis to join the REDD+ programme. This is an area that we will be targeting this year and we are optimistic that other Mataqalis will also join to meet the required area of 2,000 hectares.
5. What do you think of the Divisional Working Group concept? Its set up and what is going to be set up to do?
I think the concept of a Divisional Working Group is good, because all core agencies who will have an interest in the REDD+ programme are members of this group. It is only through an integrated multi-sectoral approach that REDD+ will be able to work. But my concern is to identify the right people and also the role of this group needs to be clearly defined.
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