1. COUNCILS TO LEARN FROM INDONESIAN EXPERIENCE – A nine member team of experts from the Indonesia’s Ministry of Public Works headed by the Director General for Spatial Planning and Development, Mr Basuki Hadimuljono, are in the country for a fact finding visit on what type of advice the municipalities need.
2. NEW GOVERNMENT PROJECTS TO BENEFIT FIJIANS IN THE EASTERN DIVISION – A number of Public Sector Investment Projects have been successfully completed in the Eastern Division which will benefit ordinary Fijians living in this division.
3. HEALTH WORKERS UNDERGO TRAINING TO PROMOTE HEALTH CARE IN RURAL AREAS – Twenty health officials are currently being trained under the Community Health Worker Scheme to improve basic health care services provided in rural and isolated communities across the country.
4. FIJI PRESENTS ENERGY REFORMS AT GLOBAL ENERGY MEET IN RUSSIA – Fiji’s Minister for Energy Timoci Natuva presented challenges and the way forward for Fiji’s energy sector at the 2013 Asia Pacifci Energy Forum, in Vladivostok in Russia.
5. GENEVA INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR HUMANITARIAN DEMINING (GICHD) DELEGATION MEET WITH FIJI GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES – A delegation from the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) visited Fiji earlier this month in their pursuit to develop further cooperation with Pacific Island countries, since the adoption of the UXO clearance strategy for the Pacific.
1 COUNCILS TO LEARN FROM INDONESIAN EXPERIENCE
A nine member team of experts from the Indonesia’s Ministry of Public Works headed by the Director General for Spatial Planning and Development, Mr Basuki Hadimuljono, are in the country for a fact finding visit on what type of advice the municipalities need.
Planning has been identified as crucial component of development of urban centres and the five towns and lone city in the Western division yesterday highlighted the problems they faced due to lack of proper planning.
Ministry of Local Government’s acting permanent secretary, Mr Saverio Baleikanacea said while Fiji was a small country compared to Indonesia, there were many areas they can learn from through capacity building.
“We can gain a lot from the exchange of information and knowledge, technological exchanges and implementation of training programmes and capacity building, research and development, pilot projects, sister city and many more,” he said.
“This region of the country is the fastest growing as there are many developments taking place but at the same time it faces many challenges.”
Some of the major challenges enumerated by the councils were flash flooding, coastal erosion and lack of infrastructure to meet the demands of the growing urban population.
Most of the towns are also looking at expanding their town boundaries with Nadi Town actually having its eye on being declared a city.
After hearing the presentation from the councils at Lautoka City Council, Mr Hadimuljono said they looked forward to sharing their knowledge with Fiji as they had identified that these urban areas needed not only expertise in planning but also in water resource infrastructure and coastal engineering.
The cooperation between the two countries was made possible through Fiji’s High Commissioner to Indonesia, Ratu Tui Cavuilati who was inspired with duplicating the benefit of Indonesia’s growth after attending a seminar on Green Growth.
The team will also visit the municipalities in the central division today.
2 NEW GOVERNMENT PROJECTS TO BENEFIT FIJIANS IN THE EASTERN DIVISION
A number of Public Sector Investment Projects have been successfully completed in the Eastern Division which will benefit ordinary Fijians living in this division.
The Divisional Commissioner Eastern Netani Rika highlighted this at the Eastern Division Development Board meeting in Suva this week.
“In the Lomaiviti province, Government has successfully assisted and completed the Batiki Nursing Station at a total cost of $190,000, including the $200,000 Nacavanadi Nursing Station which was funded by Ausaid and the $81,000 worth Lamiti foot crossing also on Gau Island,” Rika said.
Commissioner Rika said that majority of the planned projects which were to be completed this year were rolled over because funds were redeployed due to Hurricane Evan earlier this year.
Other projects under process include the Nauouo/Cawatara Grid Extension worth $238,457 which was released to Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA).
“Another project, the $35,000 foot crossing planned for Qarani village is in progress by the RFMF Engineers and a $155,960 Malawai foot crossing also on Gau Island,” Rika said.
“Funding for the Lakeba Nursing Quarters have been released to the Ministry of Works and delivery of materials will be done on the availability of vessel,” Rika said.
3 HEALTH WORKERS UNDERGO TRAINING TO PROMOTE HEALTH CARE IN RURAL AREAS
Twenty health officials are currently being trained under the Community Health Worker Scheme to improve basic health care services provided in rural and isolated communities across the country.
The Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr Eloni Tora said a major goal behind this program is to provide a health care system that is accessible, affordable, responsive, equitable and of high quality to people.
“The Community Health Worker toolkit has also been distributed to these officers to undertake primary health care in our villagers,” Dr Tora said.
Government has allocated $210,000 for this program which is being piloted in the Northern division before it is extended to other areas in the country.
Dr Tora highlighted that the Ministry is currently working with the Ministry of Itaukei and the Ministry of Local government to engage with various district officers in the villages where the officials will be assigned too.
The Fiji Health Sector Support Program has also provided support towards this program.
Meanwhile, earlier this year eighteen community dieticians from around the country were presented with the Dietitians Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Toolkit.
These kits will effectively allow dieticians to screen people and provide appropriate interventions for cardiovascular risks and anaemia.
4 FIJI PRESENTS ENERGY REFORMS AT GLOBAL ENERGY MEET IN RUSSIA
Fiji’s Minister for Energy Timoci Natuva presented challenges and the way forward for Fiji’s energy sector at the 2013 Asia Pacifci Energy Forum, in Vladivostok in Russia.
In his policy intervention at the inaugural ministerial session, Minister Natuva highlighted that Fiji’s energy challenges have become an imminent threat to the “security of our economy, our livelihood and national sovereignty than an energy security per se. With this backdrop, the urgency to shift towards sustainable energy development is imperative”.
He shared Fiji’s energy development progress and strategies by highlighting the renewable sector projects being recently commissioned and Fiji’s endeavour to elevate energy efficiency and conservation in the various sectors of our economy and desire to link it to productivity.
The Minister also emphasised that conducting research on Fiji’s renewable energy resources available locally continues to be an integral aspect of Fiji’s strategy. He said that in keeping with the country’s energy objectives and priorities, including having due regard for regional and international developments, Government is in the process of reviewing Fiji’s national energy policy. With this work, Fiji has also placed emphasis on having accurate data to guide our planning processes. This is also an important initiative that we as a region (Pacific) have recommended as an intervention in our sub-regional Action Plan. He also underscored that Fiji along with member PIC states have embraced the UN Secretary General’s initiative for “Sustainable Energy For All.”
Within the ambit of the APEF vision, Minister Natuva underlined that the energy targets Fiji has set for itself cannot be propelled by Fiji.
“Fiji needs strategic partners to assist in advancing and achieving its desired goals”. He highlighted the need to establish and create the environment that will attract the private sector with the view to encourage Public Private Partnership as potential financial modalities to propel national energy priorities and developments. He reiterated that sustainable energy supplies and consumption provides new opportunities for growth, significant to transform lives, economies, and our region. Without it, there can be no sustainable development.
The Forum was held in two segments: a senior officials session and an inaugural ministerial segment on 27 to 28th and 29 through 30th May respectively. The APEF meeting desired to achieve two main outcomes comprising the: Ministerial Declaration on regional cooperation for enhanced energy security and the sustainable use of energy in Asia and the Pacific: Shaping the future of sustainable energy in Asia and the Pacific; and its Plan of Action.
The senior officials two day session was chaired by the Deputy Minister for Energy of the Russian Federation. Fiji was elected as one of the five co-chairs representing the Pacific sub-region and which was presided by Mr Peceli Nakavulevu, Director for Energy.
A representative from Fiji’s Embassy in Japan, Counsellor Julia Korovou accompanied the Minister and the Director at the global meet.
5 GENEVA INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR HUMANITARIAN DEMINING (GICHD) DELEGATION MEET WITH FIJI GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES
A delegation from the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) visited Fiji earlier this month in their pursuit to develop further cooperation with Pacific Island countries, since the adoption of the UXO clearance strategy for the Pacific.
UXO – Unexploded ordnance (or UXOs/UXBs, sometimes acronymized as UO) are explosive weapons (bombs, bullets, shells, grenades, land mines, naval mines, etc). The GICHD is an international organisation working in mine action, legally based in Switzerland as a non-profit foundation. It is responsible for the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention- Ottawa Treaty which Fiji became a state party to on 10 June 1998, the Convention on Cluster Munitions- Fiji ratified on 28 May, 2010 and the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons which Fiji may ratify in the near future.
The delegation Consisting of the Director for GICHD H.E. Ambassador Stephan Husy, the Head of External Relations and Policy, Mr. Pascal Rapillard and Mr. Ian Mansfield a private Consultant for GICHD met with relevant Government stakeholders on 22 May which included the Ministries of Lands and Mineral Resources, Ministry of Defence, National Security and Immigration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Amena Yauvoli received the delegation and pointed out that information sharing is educational.
“The visit by you & your delegation Ambassador Husy this afternoon is indeed appreciated by the ministries represented here and the Government of Fiji as a whole”.