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Mr. Xia Jun (right), assistant to the Executive Director of APFNet, signed and exchanged the project agreement with Mr. SairusiBulai (left),director of the project and deputy director of the Land Resource Division at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

On June 15, 2015, an agreement was signed between APFNet and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC),which initiated a project “Capacity Building towards Effectiveness Implementation of Sustainable Forest Management Practices in Fiji, Tonga and Niue”.

APFNet committed its partnership with project stakeholders through a funding of USD 488,500, out of the total project fund of USD 666,500.

During the meeting, the project steering committee was established to supervise the project, with Mr. SairusiMubai elected as the chair. The status of sustainable forest management in each economy was also reviewed to refine project priorities, identify milestones and activities to be fed into the first annual work plan. Activities will begin in July 2015.

The 3 year project seeks to enhance the capacity of forest officers, owners, and users to manage forests in Fiji, Tonga and Niue in a sustainable manner, through the implementation of effective strategies and mechanisms, development, enforcement and monitoring of national forest management plans and codes of harvesting practice.

Regulatory frameworks will be developed by reviewing the current status of regulatory mechanisms and addressing the key gaps and areas for potential improvements for each economy. Trainings will then be conducted with systematic, documented procedures and tailored training material, with the input of local and international experts.