The President of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Dr. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, continued his tour in Fiji with today’s visit to the coastal village of Vusama in the Tuva Catchment.

The village is located in one of the six catchments where UNDP is implementing the Ridge to Reef project to preserve ecosystem services, reduce carbon, improve climate resilience and sustain livelihoods.

H.E Bande was according a traditional welcome ceremony followed by a visit to the traditional salt making site.

Vusama is the custodian of salt making in Fiji but in recent years has seen a rapid decline in the knowledge and cease of the practice.

Traditionally, the women in the village had overseen the practice, safeguarded and passed on this traditional knowledge but only four elders are left with this local knowledge.

Hence, in a commitment to sustain livelihoods through revival of Indigenous knowledge systems, cultural identity, gender equality and social resilience, the Ridge to Reef project is supporting Vusama’s cultural practice through the recent development of a salt making site designed to also preserve the ecosystem.

“The UN is not in New York alone, it’s everywhere, like in this village.

The revival of salt making here not only connects this community but it connects this community to the rest of the world. I’m happy to see the integration of women and men, it’s the way of the future”, said the President of the 74th Session of UNGA.

UNDP in partnership with the Fiji Government through the Ministry of Waterways & Environment is implementing Ridge to Reef and working towards strengthening resilience and sustainable development.

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