The University of the South Pacific’s Institute of Applied Sciences in partnership with the Fiji Department of Environment recently hosted the Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) planning meeting of stakeholders for the Ra Province in Fiji. The Ra Province is one of the 14 provinces in the country and is located on the northern part of Viti Levu, the largest island of Fiji. The meeting, which was held on 8 November, 2012 at the Ra Provincial Office, was well represented by about 60 participants from the Government, NGOs, private sector and communities.
The meeting was led by the Director of the Institute of Applied Sciences (IAS), Professor Bill Aalbersberg.
Professor Aalbersberg explained that the main aim of the meeting was to bring together key Ra provincial stakeholders from the public and private sectors to share progress and challenges, in a participatory approach, in regards to ICM issues and to develop a common vision towards the development of an ICM plan for the province.
Main outcomes from the meeting included the development of broad statements towards a vision for the Ra Province ICM Plan, the prioritisation of six main issues that will form the basis of an action plan and the formation of a Ra Province ICM Committee comprising representation from each of the stakeholder groups that will oversee the implementation of the action plan for the province.
This activity was undertaken as part of the Coral Triangle Pacific project which is jointly being implemented by the Fiji Department of Environment and the Institute of Applied Sciences in cooperation with NGOs.
The aim of this project is to improve the resilience of coastal and marine ecosystems and climate change within five countries including Fiji. Ra province is the pilot site for Fiji with the focus of efforts to develop an integrated coastal resource management plan for the province.