The Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon Sakiusa Tubuna attended the 7th Global Environment Facility Assembly on behalf of the Prime Minister and Minister for Environment from 22nd to the 26th August.
The Assembly provided an opportunity for the 185 member countries to discuss governance and financing solutions for global environment challenges and to forge new partnerships focused on addressing the drivers for ecological strains.
The Assembly included high level plenary sessions focusing on integrated responses to global environmental degradation, partnerships for financing, and responsible, inclusive and transformative governance.
During the margins of the Assembly, the Assistant Minister held bilateral meetings with the Minister of International Development Canada and the International Fund for Agricultural Development and also the New Zealand Government to discuss agroecological approaches that will assist our rural farmers in applying fundamental ecological and social principals to agricultural production in Fiji.
“While we want to maximise food production, it cannot be done at the expense of nature. We need to develop models so that our rural farmers are farming with biodiversity; where nature drives agriculture rather than suffering from it,” Assistant Minister Tubuna stated.
“We need to develop alternative livelihood opportunities for farmers that are moving out of sugarcane to other lucrative crops and we need to strategically utilise environment funds such as GEF towards achieving this major outcome of the Coalition Government,” Assistant Minister Tubuna added.
The Assembly concluded with positive outcomes, including the ratification of the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund, which is a new source of funding that will focus on protecting endangered species, as well as their ecosystems globally.