NFMV and the Dept of Forests have launched the Permanent Forest Estates awareness project at Ravuka village in Vanua Levu.
This work is funded by a grant from the Jensen Charity Foundation supported by the Department of Forestry and BirdLife International.
NFMV have produced Fijian versions of Fiji Forest Policy Summary and a DVD about a sustainable forest community project in Drawa, into Fijian.
They have also produced supporting Fijian materials such as posters and explanatory booklets. Concepts introduced include Fiji’s biodiversity, Permanent Forest Estates, Sustainable Forest Management, Forest Certification and Carbon Credits.
NFMV is carrying out an awareness tour of Fiji, bringing the new materials and having interactive forums to develop a better understanding. NFMV plan to cover villages where mataqali’s own the largest areas of native forests in Vanua Levu and Viti Levu. The tour kicked off on the 27th August at the village of Ravuka in North Vanua Levu. NFMV were honoured to be presented with a tabua by the village chief at the sevusevu welcoming ceremony. The day’s forum went very well, with positive feedback from participants and the first mataqali signing up to indicate that they would like to develop sustainable forestry on their lands.
Nunia Thomas, NFMV’s Conservation Coordinator said “I am really relieved that all the materials are ready and that the awareness is underway. It’s great to see all the hard work everyone has put in come together.
The first forum was a great success and hopefully the rest of the tour will continue the same way. When land owning mataqali members are given the facts, it empowers them to make good decisions.”
The tour of Vanua Levu continue through to the end of September with 20 village meetings for over 60 mataqali. Viti Levu’s awareness will take place early next year.