In observance of World Forest Day, Hon Sakiusa Tubuna, Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, urged a celebration organized for the Central Division, focusing on the theme “Forests and Innovation – New Solutions for a Better World.”
In his speech, Tubuna stressed the critical role forests play in sustaining life on Earth and called for concerted efforts to protect and conserve them.
Hosted at the Timber Utilisation Division of the Ministry of Forest in Nasinu, the event highlighted the crucial role of forests in sustainable development, with specific attention to Sustainable Development Goals 9 and 15, concerning Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and Life on Land, respectively.
Hon. Tubuna stressed the myriad benefits forests provide to society, from essential products like timber to invaluable services such as biodiversity protection and climate change mitigation.
“The increasing importance of forests in addressing contemporary challenges, asserting that sustainable management is essential for ensuring the continuity of these benefits,” said the Assistant Minister.
“Innovation is key to addressing the challenges that our forests face today,” stated Hon. Sakiusa Tubuna.
During the discussion, the Assistant Minister emphasised the significant impact of innovation in the forest sector citing examples like the development of wood-based construction materials and eco-friendly forestry techniques for conservation and restoration of forests.
Furthermore, Hon Tubuna highlighted the potential of innovative financing mechanisms such as payments for ecosystem services in incentivizing sustainable forestry practices.
Fiji’s commitment to forest conservation was reaffirmed by Hon. Tubuna, citing initiatives like the Forest Emission Reductions (ER) program and proudly announced Fiji’s status as the first small island developing state to embark on this journey, showcasing the nation’s dedication to combating climate change and preserving biodiversity.
Despite facing challenges like deforestation and climate change, Hon. Tubuna expressed Fiji’s unwavering commitment to forest conservation and urged active participation in Fiji’s Forest ER Program, emphasizing its role in climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable development.
The Assistant Minister also expressed gratitude to participants, including students from Davuilevu (Methodist Lay Training College) and Total Energies, for their involvement in a tree-planting program earlier in the day.
Hon Tubuna further urged everyone to embrace innovation as a tool for safeguarding our natural heritage and ensuring a greener, healthier future for the planet.
The International Day of Forests celebration in Nasinu highlighted Fiji’s commitment to forest conservation and innovation for sustainable forest management.
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