The conservation and implementation of sound environmental policies safeguarding Fiji’s marine resources is vital to ensuring its sustainability for Fiji’s future generation.

This has prompted the Fijian Government to partner with numerous institutions, non government organisations and international partners in implementing various environmental programmes throughout Fiji to address issues such as: biodiversity conservation; sustainable biological resource use; climate change mitigation; waste and pollution management; and sustainable development.

Speaking at the launch of Fiji’s National Day celebration at Yeosu in South Korea on July 22, Prime Minister Bainimarama highlighted that this year’s theme of ‘The Living Ocean and Coasts’ is fitting to Fiji and its neighbouring Pacific Islands, given that over the past several decades, Fiji has experienced increased pressure on its natural resources and environment.

Pressure he adds resulting from the growing emphasis on economic development which is needed to generate income, create jobs and increase export earnings.

With approximately 80  per cent of Fiji’s population living along its coastal areas and depending on fishing for their livelihood, earnings from Fiji’s fisheries export total around 3 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and this figure is expected to increase annually.

“We have introduced a number of laws that apply the principles of sustainable use and development of marine resources, together with protection of endangered species.”

“The success of our policies is marked by the  protection of the life which has become an attraction and a marketing point for tourism in Fiji.”

He said that Government’s focus in protecting the environment, especially its  waters, extends beyond Fiji’s own borders which has made it a leading Pacific Island Nation for the development of sustainable and practical policies.

Fiji has led the Melanesian Spearhead Group in the adoption of such policies as the “Framework for Green Growth,” and the “Blue Carbon Initiative,” that will help guide stakeholders in the responsible conservation of our region’s rich bio-diversity, sustainable growth, and awareness raising.

“I called on all Pacific at Rio De Janeiro, to recognise the “Pacific way.” This means a regional approach to addressing sustainable development of our natural resources,” the Prime Minister told guests at the expo.

Fiji is party to key regional and international conventions including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency Convention, and Conventions on Biological Diversity.