The seminar was an opportunity for representatives from the different religious bodies to harness their strength and assist the government in protection.
The faith based seminar on environmental conservation was organized by the Programs Management Unit of the Department of Environment from the 2nd- 4th of April.
The seminar was a platform for discussion and consultations between the leaders of major religious bodies present in Fiji, on how they could work together to assist the present government in safeguarding Fiji’s natural environment.
Present at the meeting was the late Tui Macuata Ratu Aisea Katonivere, who spoke on the conservation activities being undertaken within Macuata Province. Macuata province is known to have nine marine protected areas and is also home to the 3rd largest reef in the world, the Great Sea Reef. It is also the source of 75% of fish sold on Viti Levu.
Representatives from the different Christian denominations, Hindu, Islam and the Bahai faith were present at the four day event. All of which identified the significance of caring for the natural environment in their different teachings. Presentations were given on conservation activities being implemented by various stakeholders around the country, with highlights on the successes as well as discussion on some constraints that are being faced.
Attendees were encouraged to identify areas which they could assist the government of the day in promoting the conservation of Fiji’s natural resources.
Among the major religions in Fiji, majority of the population are Christians (64%) followed by Hinduism (28) then Islam (6%) (Fiji Bureau of Statistics, 2007).
NatureFiji-MareqetiViti attended the seminar with Rivers Fiji Limited, managers of Fiji’s ‘Ramsar’ Site, the Upper Navua Conservation Area (UNCA). Awareness at the UNCA has also included faith based conservation talks in respect of the different audiences who visit the site.