The Tui Cakau visited the Office of Mareqetiviti’s Taveuni National Park Project in Somosomo to discuss the project and proposes a three year timeframe.
The Taveuni National Park Project has been running for six months and Waisale Mataitoga and his team have completed the first round of consultations with all the landowners and other stakeholders. The participation and response has been very encouraging.
The reasons behind the NP proposal are now well understood and the consultation meetings are now drawing out substantive discussion.
The project received a very welcome boost this week when the Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu met with Team Leader Waisale Mataitoga and MareqetiViti Director Dick Watling for a briefing on project progress.
The Tui Cakau expressed his appreciation for the work being undertaken by MareqetiViti on Taveuni and offered the project his full support. But he laid down a clear challenge for the project – a three year timeline for achieving National Park status.
The project is currently organising a visit to Vanua Levu and Viti Levu by 2 or 3 from each of the 18 mataqali involved in the project where they will visit existing protected areas such as Waisali, Colo-i-suva, Sovi, Sigatoka Sand Dunes NP and Tavuni Hill Fort. Here they will get a chance to meet landowners and learn from them about the protected areas.
This will act as a spring board for the second round of consultations on their return when each mataqali will have discussions with the project on an individual basis. These consultations will be followed by discussions at the relevant Tikina meetings and the Provincial meeting.
The Taveuni National Park Project is funded by the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund, and supported by the Cakaudrove Provincial Office, Fiji Department of Forests and the National Trust of Fiji.
We thank all our stakeholders for their continued support.
For any queries on the project, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We especially welcome comments from Taveuni landowners living outside of Taveuni.