1. IMF CALLS FIJIAN ECONOMY ROBUST – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has labelled Fiji’s growth as robust and one that can be greatly enhanced by faster and deeper structural reforms.
2. PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP TO ACHIEVE INTERNATIONAL GOALS – Pacific leaders today reaffirmed their support for each other in order to achieve international committed goals in the region.
3. CADET ENFORCES STUDENT DISCIPLINE: TUITUBOU – Students of Nakasi High School in Nasinu displayed wonderful military drills during their cadet pass out parade this morning. The Commissioner Central Lieutenant-Colonel Laisenia Tuitubou was the chief guest and inspected the first ever 125 cadets of the school during the parade.
4. FOREST CONNECTION WITH CLIMATE CHANGE – There is need to raise awareness on the important relationship that forests have with climate change. Community forester Jalesi Mateboto highlighted this during a media briefing on the 3rd Day of the 2nd National Climate Change Summit at Narewa Village in Nadi.
1. IMF CALLS FIJIAN ECONOMY ROBUST
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has labelled Fiji’s growth as robust and one that can be greatly enhanced by faster and deeper structural reforms.
The IMF team led by Mr Chikahisa Sumi was in Fiji for 15 days during which they met with over a hundred people, including Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
Mr Sumi said while their projection of three (3) per cent economic growth for Fiji in 2013 is slightly less than the Reserve Bank of Fiji’s projection of 3.2 per cent, the difference was negligible.
However, he said there are some areas of concern that would need to be addressed if Fiji wants to meet its medium term goal of five (5) per cent growth such as investor confidence, increased resilience to both domestic and international shocks and reducing the 8.6 per cent unemployment rate.
“To achieve higher growth and reduce unemployment, faster and deeper structural reform is now urgently needed,” Mr Sumi said this afternoon.
He said these issues would need to be ironed out before Fiji can progress in a manner it is capable of.
“The 2013 deficit target of 2.8 per cent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is on track to be met, with strong VAT (Value Added Tax) revenue collections and somewhat slower-than-planned expenditure in the first half of 2013,” Mr Sumi said.
He commended the Fijian Government for the infrastructural growth and encouraged Fiji to look at developing businesses such as call centres due to its advantageous time zone as well as enhance agricultural activities as it enjoys the warm climate.
The expert has encouraged policy makers to engage in broad consultations with stakeholders including small and medium sized businesses and civil society.
2. PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP TO ACHIEVE INTERNATIONAL GOALS
Pacific leaders today reaffirmed their support for each other in order to achieve international committed goals in the region.
Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma while officially closing the Pacific Conference for Parliamentarians Advocacy on the International Conference for Population and Development, said the discussions provided an avenue for Pacific leaders to gather, share and address issues such as migration, aging population, climate change and urbanisation.
“The ‘Talanoa’ session in a Pacific way provides a sustainable means to share each other’s commonalities and learn difference,” Dr Sharma said.
“Talanoa sessions recognise the concept of partnership and need for equity. As team leaders we need to apply our collective wisdom in our own settings to common good on issues of population development.”
Dr Sharma added that succession planning was an essential part of governance which is not possible with current migration trends demonstrated in the region.
“Pacific governments have continued to struggle to achieve their target for reasons such as social, economic and fiscal constraints which needs to be addressed in the next development agenda post 2015,” Dr Sharma said.
“The unfinished business of ICPD agenda to 2014 and that of MDG in 2015 must be inter-twinned, prioritized for the sake of the grass root people we support.
“That post 2015 development agenda will carry forward the unfinished business of MDGs, issues of aging population, climate change and NCDs including cancer and mental health which must be factored in the next development agenda,” he added.
The three day meeting organised by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) had participants from Pacific Island Countries (PIC), non-governmental organizations and other United Nations agencies.
3. CADET ENFORCES STUDENT DISCIPLINE: TUITUBOU
Students of Nakasi High School in Nasinu displayed wonderful military drills during their cadet pass out parade this morning.
The Commissioner Central Lieutenant-Colonel Laisenia Tuitubou was the chief guest and inspected the first ever 125 cadets of the school during the parade.
The Commissioner Central said the drills displayed by the cadets and their co-ordinated movement forms the basis of discipline and team work.
“Drills as you have learnt are the basis of discipline which should be transferable to your daily lives. It also ensures that you are obedient to your leaders as you are on the parade ground. As one of John Wesley principles states ‘Obeying as sense of duty to God’,” Lt.Col Tuitubou said.
Five awards namely the best Platoon in Barrack, the best platoon in drill, the best female cadet, the best male cadet, and the baton of honour award were presented.
Baton of Honour recipient Captain Sitiveni Chand, who is also the assistant head boy, said he was surprised when his name was called out.
“At the same time I was so happy and little bit emotional as I know this is the first time for the school to have a military cadet pass out parade,” Chand said.
Nakasi High School principal Premila Kumar said it was a proud historical moment for the school.
“We feel proud, we feel great, because for the first time our children are able to enter a programme like this. The discipline part of the programme is definitely going to impact the students,” Ms Kumar said
4. FOREST CONNECTION WITH CLIMATE CHANGE
There is need to raise awareness on the important relationship that forests have with climate change.
Community forester Jalesi Mateboto highlighted this during a media briefing on the 3rd Day of the 2nd National Climate Change Summit at Narewa Village in Nadi.
“We need to enlighten our people more often on the important relationship that forests have with climate change. Even though our people have knowledge on the importance of our forests, and trees, it is very critical to ensure they understood the relationship forests have with climate changes,” Mr Mateboto said.
“Especially in the area of carbon emissions and the fact that when excessive logging is done it contributes significantly to the high emissions of carbon which leads to the affect on our ozone depletion.
“Our forests are in deep stress and that it why our people, especially the owners of large forests are concerned,” Mr Mateboto said.
“About 200 hectares of forests are being cut everyday around the world and that is the same as or equivalent to 20,000 rugby fields when you compare the amount of trees cut and the amount of carbon emission created out it that contributes to the greenhouses gases emission globally.”
The forestry sector records 17 to 20 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions directly from the cutting of trees and forests. Its effects are then felt or translated as global warning which leads to climate change.
Mr Mateboto said community leaders needed to be educated and they must also educate their people of these real issues as a means to mitigate effects of climate change in Fiji.
“The forestry sector is actively involved in these activities by encouraging communities to plant more trees, decrease their rate of cutting trees, and also introduce agro-forestry methods in Fiji,” he said.
Forests or trees store carbon and just by cutting them or destroying forests, carbon is emitted into the atmosphere which directly leads to global warming.