CONSERVATION is not a onetime effort or a one project endeavour but needs to become our way of life, says Minister for Youth and Sports Viliame Naupoto.
Making these remarks at the World Fisheries Day celebrations on Wednesday November 11 at the Suva Foreshore, the Minister, who had previously held the post of permanent secretary for the Ministry of Fisheries and Forest, raised salient issues that will need to be addressed as Fiji moves towards sustainable management of its sea resources.
Mr Naupoto said conservation was a selfless attitude because what we are to do today will be for the benefit of those that come after us.
This year’s theme recognises the important role women and youth play in the daily life and by extension in conservation efforts.
“If conservation is to be effective, it has to be part of our way of life,” Mr Naupoto said.
“Youth who are involved in conservation should make it a habit and in turn will become their attitude which will be part of their way of life.”
Similarly, he said conservation was very much in the nature of women as they do it at home all the time.
“But your conservation attitude is not for your own benefit but for the benefit of your family members first and you last,” Mr Naupoto said.
Fisheries and Forest permanent secretary, Mr Inoke Wainiqolo in acknowledging the presence of women and youth groups that had travelled from the Northern and Western division, said there were various threats to the sustainability to marine and fresh water resources in Fiji.
He said Fiji was taking its cue from the globally recognised system of acknowledging women and youth in the conservation of fisheries and other resources.
Some of the issues highlighted during this year’s worldwide celebration looks into overfishing, habitat degradation and destruction and climate change amongst others.
Several speakers from different parts of Fiji, especially the Northern division, gave testimony of conservation efforts bearing fruit in areas such as marine protected areas, seaweed farming and integrated farming.