The commemoration of the World Day to Combat Desertification is a reminder of the importance and real value of the land.

Officiating at the event, Minister Reddy said the event was to raise awareness on the global and national actions that address desertification, land degradation and drought.

Farmers in Koronubu, Ba converged at Mrs. Shaloshni Wati Sharma Agroforestry farming residence to celebrate World Day to combat Desertification with the theme “Food, Feed and Fiber Sustainable Production and Consumption.”

“In 1998 Fiji ratified the convention on addressing desertification and Fiji has been an active signatory to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and since then Fiji has been actively involved in Conventional activities including multi-lateral Environment Agreements on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD).

Minister Reddy said Fiji joined 196 member countries to make this day unique and to remind everyone that we can reverse land degradation and land degradation neutrality through problem solving, strong community involvement and co-operation at all levels.

“This year’s theme, ‘Food Feed and Fibre Sustainable Production and Consumption’ is calling on all involved to sustainably produce and consume,” said Minister Reddy.

Hon. Reddy said 16 new initiatives have been developed for the Agriculture Ministry to implement that are aligned to this year’s theme which include the Home Gardening Initiatives, Village Nutritional Security and Farm Support Initiatives.

“The Ministry is also working with key stakeholders including the Ministry of Forestry on the ‘30 million trees in 15 years’ initiative, Pacific Community (SPC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on the implementation of the Ridge to Reef Project which is funded by the Global Environment Fund,” added Hon. Reddy

However, Minister Reddy said that the Fijian Government had adopted Sustainable Land Management (SLM) in 2012 which provides a wise investment for economic growth that does not compromise resilient livelihoods.

“It is the key to safeguarding and managing the quality of the land by balancing its biological and economic potential.’

“Sustainable Land Management can give tremendous momentum to positive change and can be the best driver to achieve land degradation neutrality.”

Minister Reddy concluded by reiterating that every one of us has a role to play and the choice is on us to produce responsibly and consume sustainably.

World Day to Combat Desertification is held on 17th June every year and Fiji has been a part of it since then.

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