MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 04/09/14 5:00PM ?

1.?????NEW RESOURCE CENTRE TO EMPOWER WOMEN OF RA?- The opening of a Women?s Resource Centre in Nativi village in Ra today will strengthen the women?s groups in the province and position them as emerging players in Fiji?s economic sector.

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2.?????FIJI PLEDGES SUPPORT TO UN SIDS PREPARATORY PROCESS?-?Pita Wise, the head of the Fijian delegation currently attending the third international conference on small-island developing States in Samoa, delivered a statement at the plenary session today.

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3.?????FIJI ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP AT SAMOA CONFERENCE?- At the second SIDS conference which was held in Mauritius in 2005, commitments were made by SIDS in the protection of Oceans, seas and Biodiversity.

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4.?????VEISARI WOMEN COMMEND DESIGN OF GOVERNMENT REFORMS?-?Fijian women of Pacific descent living in Veisari have commended Government for what it calls inclusiveness in its reform process.?

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5.?????NORTHERN OFFICE ORGANISE WATER CARTING?- The Disaster Management Office (DISMAC) in the Northern Division is working closely with the Water Authority of Fiji to cater water to areas affected by this dry spell.

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6.?????CHINA RAILWAY FIRST GROUP DONATES FOR CENTRAL AGRICULTURE SHOW?-?The Ministry of Agriculture received a timely boost for the ?Central Division Agriculture Show? after the China Railway First Group (CRFG) presented a sponsorship cheque of $10,000 for the event. ?

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1?NEW RESOURCE CENTRE TO EMPOWER WOMEN OF RA

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The opening of a Women?s Resource Centre in Nativi village in Ra today will strengthen the women?s groups in the province and position them as emerging players in Fiji?s economic sector.

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This was relayed by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni at the official opening of the ?Nativi Women Resource Centre?.

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Dr Luveni said the resource center would financially empower the women and allow them to generate income from selling items including clothing and handicraft.

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?Women from around the area will be able to access this center and share ideas andskills in making handicraft, sewing and other income generating projects,? Dr Luveni said.

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?We all know that this development will also encourage women from the province to create various handicrafts that are culturally unique to their own villages,? the Minister said.

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She highlighted that while the centre promises a new change for the women, it will raise awareness on their rights within the the community.

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The Naroba Women?s group representative Katarina Maramaloaloa thanked the Bainimarama government for the assistance provided to empower the women living in theserural communities.

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?This resource center will economically benefit women in the areas to produce products they make and help their families?, Maramaloaloa said.

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The Minister also donated 56 sewing machines to 26 villages from the district of Naroba, Tokaimalo, Saivou, Nailuva and Naroko.

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With the various developments being undertaken in the province of Ra, Dr Luveni is adamant that the women will be empowered to create a difference in their own homes and their communities.

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2?FIJI PLEDGES SUPPORT TO UN SIDS PREPARATORY PROCESS

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Pita Wise, the head of the Fijian delegation currently attending the third international conference on small-island developing States in Samoa, delivered a statement at the plenary session today.

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In his statement, the Fijian Permanent Secretary highlighted the need for all countries to collectively address the challenges of sustainable development. He pointed to the ?Pacific Way? as a concept that would complement efforts to accelerate action through genuine partnership.? He said that the Pacific Way ?involves dialogue and collaboration in sharing our island heritage, independence and the right to self-governance, as we strive to establish effective communities, strengthening social networks, and promote environmentally friendly sustainable economic development.?

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The Fiji statement identified the need to review and improve institutional mechanisms on a global, regional, sub-regional, inter and intra-regional level in order to make them relevant and responsive to their respective mandates and people?s needs.

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Mr Wise said ?in the spirit of genuine, durable partnership and inclusiveness, Fiji has championed the formation of the Pacific Islands Development Forum. The PIDF encompasses the collective efforts of Governments, civil society organizations and the private sector to address issues of common interest, challenges, and map out solutions tailored to the needs of Pacific island countries.?

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He also pointed out that the Fiji Volunteer Service scheme is a manifestation of Fiji?s commitment to partnership with its Pacific Island neighbours, under the umbrella of South-South cooperation.

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In particular, Fiji?s Green Growth Framework was presented as a prime example of national efforts that recognises the need for the sustainable use of our natural resources, reduce our vulnerability to environmental risks and promote socially inclusive development.

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?Another significant development that has been given priority is the protection of our marine resources. TheGovernment has revisited its commitment made in 2005 at the second SIDS conference in Mauritius,? said Mr Wise. ?The commitment was that Fiji will protect 30% of its marine resources by the year 2020. Although some progress has been made with the support of our development partners as well as through the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Network, there remains a lot to be done and we are committed to achieving the 30% target.?

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A view shared by many delegations at the Samoa conference is that the ?One Size Fits All? development paradigm has not been effective. Mr Wise was one of the speakers who stressed that all developing countries must be given room or policy space to better determinetheir priorities based on their specific needs rather than being driven by those that provide them with the necessary financial resources. Many countries therefore called for innovative and robust ways that will work for Small Island developing States.

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The Fijian delegation has been attending the plenary sessions as well as the various side events and multi-stakeholder dialogue.

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The Samoa conference ends today.

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3?FIJI ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP AT SAMOA CONFERENCE

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At the second SIDS conference which was held in Mauritius in 2005, commitments were made by SIDS in the protection of Oceans, seas and Biodiversity.

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Fiji had made a declaration to effectively protect 30% of its seas by the year 2020. Since then, some progress has been achieved in the management of inshore areas through the efforts of the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area (FLMMA) network, the Department of Fisheries, and other partners.

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The head of the Fijian delegation at the Samoa SIDS conference, Permanent Secretary Pita Wise, today announced a unique and durable partnership with civil society groups, particularly the FLMMA network and development partners, to achieve its SIDS goal to protect 30% of its seas by 2020. Mr Wise was making the announcement at today?s multi-stakeholder Partnership dialogue on Oceans, Seas and Biodiversity.

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He also said that the new area of Fiji?s focus for marine protection is offshore. The intention is to take on board lessons learnt from the partnerships forged over the years prior to recommitting to areas of mutual interest in offshore management. This will also include?new partnerships with the private sector.

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Wise added that this partnership announcement would be complemented by the provision of seed funding from the Waitt Foundation through the World Conservation Society (WCS) to support the establishment of offshore marine managed areas.

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On the implementation modality, he pointed out that two Ministries, Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, will lead a Fiji SIDS 2020 Commitment Working Committee, in partnership with civil society (World Conservation Society (WCS), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), InternationalUnion for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Conservation International (CI) and other interested FLMMA partners) and with the support of development partners.

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That same commitment has been reflected in the recently approved Green Growth Framework for Fiji, where a key outcome is the establishment of ?deep water Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) or Marine Managed Areas (MMAs) targeting offshore areas to achieve the 30% marine managed areas by 2020.?

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The Oceans, Seas & Biodiversity partnership dialogue session was attended by senior government personnel, development partners, academia and members of civil society groups.

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4?VEISARI WOMEN COMMEND DESIGN OF GOVERNMENT REFORMS

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Fijian women of Pacific descent living in Veisari have commended Government for what it calls inclusiveness in its reform process.?

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The comments were made after the group recently met with the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Minister Jiko Luveni. At the meeting, the women who are of Kiribati, Tuvalu and Wallis & Futuna descent said that the reforms carried out was impacting them and their families. They added that despite their ethnic differences, it was commendable that assistance was provided without any discrimination.?

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Veisari Methodist Women?s Group President Mrs Aeli Kelesoma applauded the assistance by Government through the ministry to help the community as a whole.

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?This is a great day for the ladies as we have been waiting for the minister to come to our community to listen to our pleas and help us where needed,? Mrs Kelesoma said.

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?This meeting will be uniting the ladies together where we can share our different talents to help each other so that we can in turn help our own families financially.?

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5?NORTHERN OFFICE ORGANISE WATER CARTING

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The Disaster Management Office (DISMAC) in the Northern Division is working closely with the Water Authority of Fiji to cater water to areas affected by this dry spell.

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Acting Commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu said the affected areas include Bua/Nabouwalu corridor, Wailevu areas in Cakaudrove and schools and health centres in the Macuata Province.

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He said Taveuni, Cikobia Island, Kia and Yanuca were also being affected by this prolonged weather condition.

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Schools that are affected are also receiving 5,0000 litres of water and are closely monitored to ensure that classes are not disrupted.

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One of the affected schools Boubale Primary outside Labasa had their three tanks filled by WAF yesterday.

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The School?s head teacher Satish Deo said that the water provided has ensured that there are no disruptions to classes.

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?We have 76 student?s primary school student, 23 preschool students and we are thankful for what the Commissioner?s office is doing and I hope a good plan can be drawn up so we won?t get affected again in years to come.?

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6?CHINA RAILWAY FIRST GROUP DONATES FOR CENTRAL AGRICULTURE SHOW

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The Ministry of Agriculture received a timely boost for the ?Central Division Agriculture Show? after the China Railway First Group (CRFG) presented a sponsorship cheque of $10,000 for the event. ?

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The presentation of cheque was made to the Ministry?s permanent secretary Mr Ropate Ligairi this morning. Here, Mr Ligairi thanked the Vice President of CRFG Mr Guo Wei and his team for the donation and said the Ministry fully appreciates the CRFG?s support for this year?s Central Division Agriculture Show like past Agriculture Shows.

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?The CRFG is always committed to work with the Agriculture Ministry not only in river dredging but also other activities related to agriculture,? said Mr Ligairi.

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The Public Relations Manager and spokesperson for the CRFG Mr Donald Singh saidthat they have plans to support all activities of the Ministry of Agriculture because they have been in partnership with the Ministry since the CRFG was established in Fiji when they began dredging work at the Rewa River.

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The Central Division Agriculture Show will be held from?10th?to?12th September?at Syria Park in Nausori.

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