In a bid to ensure that sustainable environmental practices are well managed, various stakeholders convened at the “Global Environment Facility 5star Stakeholder” workshop on October 18.

The Global Environment Facility or GEF recently allocated $7.15million to the Fijian Government  which will see $4.5million used for Biodiversity sustainability programs, $2million for climate change mitigation programs and $0.59m for Land Degradation programs.

During discussions, the Ministry’s conservator of forests Samuela Lagataki said that, “stakeholders need to ensure that while planning on development purposes, it must also ensure that it includes sustainable measures that will be seen as beneficial to the community and various stakeholders.”

“We will have to plan awareness programs for the communities to inform them on the real changes that will be taking places however taking into account their resources that they rely on for livelihood will be protected.”

Meanwhile, the United Nations Development Program has been part of the planning processes to ensure stakeholders are aligned to the requirements of the funding.

UNDP regional technical advisor Jose Padilla said that , “there are alot of areas that have been identified as priority sites however due to limited resources we are unable to include the other sites.

“We have identified a few areas like Waidina catchment and Wainikoro catchment in Vanua Levu but further consultations with the various stakeholders might include new sites or changes to the current ones,” he said.

Mr Padilla adds the communities will be the direct implementers and beneficiaries upon which their livelihoods are depended on.

He added that submissions from the stakeholders will include co-financing partners from donor partners whom wish to contribute to the project.

The final submission of all the concepts should be ready by June next year before the formal submission is made to GEF.