The Institute of Applied Sciences, USP is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Isoa Korovulavula as its new Natural Resources Management Unit Manager. The Natural Resources Management (NRM) Unit (formerly IAS Environment Unit), an award-winning centre of excellence in biodiversity development and conservation will be greatly benefit from Isoa’s experience and expertise in the application of environmental economics in community based conservation and resource management activities.
The IAS NRM Unit has a long successful history with applied community based resource management and researches such as the establishment of Locally Management Marine Area network in the Pacific and few countries in Asia. Isoa hopes to contribute further to its success through:
- focusing on the development of realistic sustainable development models in relation to existing marine and terrestrial natural resources management projects
- working more on integrating terrestrial and marine management as well as water management initiative at community, national and regional levels for initiatives that are holistic in nature such as the Integrated Coastal Management (ICM)
- continue with the Unit’s current EIA consultancies but be more selective in terms of choosing the ones that accrue the maximum financial net benefit to IAS
A former Fellow at IAS, Isoa was the Community Liaison Officer for the USAID funded Coastal Community Adaptation Project (C-CAP) immediately before re-joining IAS. In his former role, he provided technical advice and assistance to Community Mobilizers based in eight of the nine C-CAP Pacific Island States.
Commenting on the new appointment, Acting Director, IAS Dr Johann Poinapen said: “Isoa brings valuable experience to our business and is an asset to the IAS management team. His knowledge of the application of environmental economics in community based conservation and resource management activities will be instrumental as we look to present more innovative solutions to our clients and stakeholders and grow our presence regionally in the environment sector.”
An expert in Socio-economic assessment of biodiversity, Economic Valuation, and Community Development Specialist & community based integrated water management, Isoa obtained his PhD and MSc from the University of Queensland and BA from The University of the South Pacific.
We have asked Isoa a few questions about his appointment and the role he will play at IAS and his responses are below.
How would your areas of expertise contribute to the strategic direction of the Institute?
I would be able to enhance and add value to the range of activities and initiatives that NRM Unit has been implementing over the past 10 years or so. The following key areas that I would be able to contribute to the Institute are:
- the application of environmental economics in community based conservation or resource management activities which has missing in the previous NRM unit community based natural resource management initiatives;
- developing a more robust decision making process by combining participatory approach multi-criteria analysis;
- institutionally, I would like to assist in developing proposals so there would be more cohesive and systematic integration of the various units within the Institute by applying the principle of “value chain” in relation to environmental and resource management consultancies and projects in Fiji and regionally.
What do you hope to focus on developing at IAS NRM?
I hope to develop a more transdisciplinary mindset amongst the NRM staff members. This will enable them to work and collaborate effectively with other units and entities within the Institute and from outside. Another activity that the NRM unit should focus on is the development of realistic sustainable development models in relation to existing marine and terrestrial natural resources management projects given the Unit’s long history with applied community based resource management and research. This could be achieved through consultancies and identifying funders that would be keen to support such projects.
Which existing project areas you would like to develop further?
I would like the NRM to continue with the Unit’s current EIA consultancies but be more selective in terms of choosing the ones that accrue the maximum financial net benefit to IAS. This principle of maximising financial net benefit should be applied in all our existing and prospective projects and consultancies.
Lastly, initiatives that are holistic in nature should be the focus of the NRM unit such as the Integrated Coastal Management (ICM). We need to work more on integrating terrestrial and marine management as well as water management initiatives at community, national and regional levels. Over the years, the Unit has been very successful in the field of community based marine management such as the establishment of Locally Management Marine Area (LMMA) network here in the Pacific and few countries in Asia. My approach to terrestrial or land based management would be to use LMMA principles and tools as well as the application of watershed management best practices.