CLIMATE change talks should not only look at immediate  environmental impacts but strengthen its attitude towards sustainable development in the same context.

This was shared by the Department of Fisheries and  conservator of Forest, Mr Samuela Lagataki who also pointed out that climate change is a cross cutting issue that “touches on what we do in one way or another at various levels and across sectors”.

Speaking at the Development of Fiji National REDD+ Strategy stakeholders meeting, Mr Lagataki said Fiji as the current chair of the Group of 77, can ensure that in climate change negotiations, the REDD+ initiative is adequately incorporated into the talks.

The REDD+, which denotes Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, is a mechanism that is under negotiation at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Fiji has been part of this initiative since 2009.

Addressing other relevant Government Ministries and non-governmental and multi-national organisations at the meeting, he asked the groups to ensure that policies and programmes espoused by REDD+ are taken forward in discussions for 2015 and further on to 2020.

“While we are here to complete the national REDD+ strategy I wish to remind you that the strategy needs to address reduction of carbon emission from the forest sector or from forest related activities,” Mr Lagataki said.

“We must also ensure that forest owners are adequately compensated and we must take into account all the third parties,” he said.

The workshop aims to complete the National REDD+ Strategy to which end, the Fijian Government has allocated $300,000 in 2013 for the implementation.