Fiji will host the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on nature conservation and protected areas this December.

Department of  Environment director, Mr Jope Davetanivalu said Fiji had existing environmental laws at national level that would be reviewed through the progress of programmes.

“We need to review the mangrove, bird and wildlife and forests conservations action plans which are built in the National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan,” Mr Davetanivalu said.

“One area the department focuses on is the progress on awareness, for instance, most villages in the province of Macuata have restricted areas of fishing.”

Marine and mangrove protected areas have been identified and endorsed by traditional leaders within Macuata.

Mr Davetanivalu said one of the positives on awareness programmes was work the department and other stakeholders had worked on to conserve our natural reserves.

International Union for Conservation of Nature director, Mr Taholo Kami said climate change reminded humanity that we had overstepped our boundaries.

“This regional conference will assist pacific islanders to adopt natural solutions in combating the effects of climate change and learn to protect our environment,” Mr Kami said.

“We need to assist our communities to promote the protection of ecosystems and adaptation methods in combating climate change.”

This year’s conference will hold the theme – Natural Solutions: Building resilience for a changing Pacific.

A 2012 Budget allocation of $200,000 from the Government will assist in preparations to host this most significant conference in the Pacific.