Women creative in communicating climate change and REDD+

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More than 40 iTaukei women expressed their appreciation and delight in participating in a training workshop on climate change and REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and forest conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks). On Wednesday 23 October 2013, the women from the Provinces of Naitasiri, Tailevu, Rewa, Namosi and Serua received their training certificates from the Permanent Secretary of the Fisheries and Forests, Mr Inoke Wainiqolo after 3 days of active participation and learning.

The women, who are members of the Soqosoqo Vakamarama iTaukei, the largest non-governmental organisation of women in Fiji, displayed their creativity and skills during the 3-days by composing impromptu poems, songs and dance around the subject of climate change, forests, and even REDD+. All this composed within 1.5-hour group sessions. The women sang melodious tunes, recited profound poems and broke out into lively meke (traditional dance) as they creatively communicated on what they had learnt. The women also began a first draft on an awareness module to aid community facilitators when conducting awareness on climate change and REDD+
Mrs Teresia Roseru from Masi Village Serua, said she was very thankful for the opportunity to learn about climate change and REDD+. As a woman belonging to a forest community, she found the sessions on forestry, climate change and REDD+ very relevant and expressed her intension to take the information back to the village. This intension was echoed by many of the ladies. Ms Vasiti Tabucakau, the Secretary of the Soqosoqo Vakamarama in Nasautoka, Wainibuka and also librarian of the village said that she will carry back to the village all the necessary training materials to conduct awareness sessions on climate change for the various groups in the Tikina.
In congratulating the women, the Mr Wainiqolo said he was very pleased to hear that the women were now more informed on the role of forests in climate change mitigation and adaption since they play an important role in ensuring forests are sustainably managed. After being regaled with song, poetry and dance, Mr Wainiqolo told the women to utilise their exceptional organisational and communication skills to create awareness in their communities on the issue of climate change and forests. He thanked the women for making the effort to attend the 3-day training, knowing how difficult it was to leave behind their obligations in the village.
The Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, Ms Loata Vakacegu, said capacity building of the women on the subject of climate change and REDD+ will continue with the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs working closely with the Forestry Department and the SPC/GIZ Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region programme to ensure this. The General Secretary of the Soqosoqo Vakamarama iTaukei, Adi Finau Tabakaucoro thanked the Fiji Government for putting in place the REDD+ Policy and its efforts in involving the iTaukei women in the development of REDD+ in the country.
The workshop was organised in partnership with the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, the Soqosoqo Vakamarama iTaukei, the Forestry Department and the SPC/GIZ Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region Programme (CCCPIR) and was conducted and funded by the Forestry Department REDD+ Project and the CCCPIR.
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, October 23, 2013