CAPTION: Fiji’s Conservator of Forests, Mr Samuela Lagataki, standing far left in the front, with other REDD-Plus negotiators at the current climate change negotiations in Bonn, Germany.
1. ASIA PACIFIC WOMEN TO MEET IN FIJI – Women from South East Asia and Pacific countries will meet in Fiji to discuss issues relating to managing home environment, food security and disaster management.
2. PUBLIC ENCOURAGED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DISPLAY – The Ministry of Information, National Archives and Library Services of Fiji is currently displaying its services to the public in a one week exhibition at the Government Service Centre (GSC) in Suva.
3. CIVIL SERVICE STAFF ESTABLISHMENT REGISTER – The Public Service Commission (PSC) has today released the 2013 Staff Establishment Register for the Civil Service.
4. STRONG LOBBY FOR REDD-PLUS AT UN CLIMATE CHANGE MEET – The Fijian government is lobbying for the establishment of a mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that will ensure the full implementation of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation activities (REDD-Plus).
5. CIVIL SERVICE STAFF ESTABLISHMENT REGISTER – The Public Service Commission (PSC) is calling for nominations from ministries and departments for the Fiji Civil Service Medal (CSM) award.
6. PLANS FOR NEW NAKOROTUBU SECONDARY SCHOOL – Education remains one of the key areas of development for Government and as such plans are underway to build a new secondary school in the province of Ra.
7. BUREWAI VILLAGERS REAP BENEFITS – Burewai villagers in the tikina of Nakorotubu in Ra, have begun reaping fruits of their labour as a result of a state-funded fishing project.
1.ASIA PACIFIC WOMEN TO MEET IN FIJI
Women from South East Asia and Pacific countries will meet in Fiji to discuss issues relating to managing home environment, food security and disaster management.
The 25th Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association International Conference (PPSEAWA) will be held for a week at Novotel in Suva from August 24 – 31, 2013.
Minister of Women and Social Welfare Dr Jiko Luveni said Government is happy to support the international conference and has given a grant of $50,000 for the meeting.
This provides an opportunity for women to share information and experiences on various policies and programs based on the theme, “Managing the environment for a sustainable and peaceful world.”
“It will be an excellent opportunity for women in Fiji to participate at the highest international level in planning and discussions on issues of concern,” Dr Luveni said.
“Our right to host this meeting reflects that Fiji has been recognised and embraced as a deserving member of PPSEAWA.”
According to PPSEAWA (Fiji) vice president, Mrs Ravesi Johnston, since its inception in 1928, this is going to be the first time for Fiji to host this international conference.
“We are grateful to the government particularly to the Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni for her support in providing this timely assistance. We are expecting about 200 participants from Fiji and South East Asia including Russia,” Mrs Johnston said.
The conference will focus on three major sub-themes, “Disaster management and food security”, “Our biodiversity, our identity, our responsibility” and “Managing the home environment for a peaceful and happy family existence”
“We hope that the exchange of experiences, information and ideas, the coming conference will assist and educate the members to utilize coping strategies and return to their countries with information and knowledge to make a difference in their communities,” Mrs Johnston said.
PPSEAWA is a non-political, voluntary organisation, which has adopted the vision of promoting peace, through dialogue, understanding and friendship amongst the women in the Asia-Pacific region.
Originally founded as Pan Pacific Women’s Association, the organisation expanded in 1955 to include women from South East Asian countries.
2.PUBLIC ENCOURAGED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DISPLAY
The Ministry of Information, National Archives and Library Services of Fiji is currently displaying its services to the public in a one week exhibition at the Government Service Centre (GSC) in Suva.
Ministry of Information permanent secretary Sharon Smith-Johns said the ministry is keen on assisting the members of the public with their queries and suggestions on services that Government provides.
“It is very important we bring government services to the people as one might witness we have the National Archives and Library services of Fiji displaying at the booths,” Ms Smith-Johns said.
“For us at the Ministry this is good opportunity to interact with the general public on how we can improve our services and it should be beneficial to the public.”
Ms Smith-Johns encouraged members of the public to visit the booths and learn more on how the ministry operates within Government.
Members of public gathered in numbers to take advantage of the displays offered by the Ministry.
Sigatoka resident, Mr Bir Chand acknowledged Government for providing such opportunities for the public to access information.
“The encouraging thing about the display from the National Archives of Fiji is that we can trace back our family history and it is also a great learning tool for students to learn more about our rich heritage of Fiji,” Mr Chand said.
Sharing similar sentiments, Mr Dharmendra Sharma from Nasole in Nasinu also encouraged the general public to visit the booths.
The display will be open for the general public from 8am to 4pm from Monday to Friday at 4pm.
3.CIVIL SERVICE STAFF ESTABLISHMENT REGISTER
The Public Service Commission (PSC) has today released the 2013 Staff Establishment Register for the Civil Service.
PSC permanent secretary, Parmesh Chand said the register contains information on the size and structure of established staff and government wage earners in the civil service as at January 31, 2013.
“PSC in the course of the year will issue variation notices to reflect any changes to the civil service staff establishment,” Mr Chand said.
“Managing the size of public service is a critical issue that all permanent secretaries and heads of departments must take responsibility for in their respective ministries and departments. This register is prepared to assist in the effective management of staff establishments,” Mr Chand said.
Mr Chand said PSC works in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the payroll is aligned to the staff establishment register and conducts a quarterly audit to ensure that agencies are working in accordance with what is reflected in the register.
The staff establishment register is aligned to the annual Budget.
4.STRONG LOBBY FOR REDD-PLUS AT UN CLIMATE CHANGE MEET
The Fijian government is lobbying for the establishment of a mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that will ensure the full implementation of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation activities (REDD-Plus).
Conservator of Forests Mr Samuela Lagataki, who is currently attending the UNFCCC meeting in Bonn, Germany, said they want the new proposed mechanism included in the new Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP).
“The (mechanism) should also be supported by adequate additional and predictable funding from various sources such as public, private, bilateral, multilateral and market based mechanisms.
REDD-Plus goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
Fiji’s interests on the issue is followed closely in Bonn by Mr Lagataki and Fiji’s Principal Timber Utilisation officer Mr Semi Dranibaka under the umbrella Coalition of Rainforest Nations (CfRN), which also includes Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.
All countries under the CfRN come under the Group of 77 and China, which is chaired by Fiji.
“In this regard Fiji has a strong voice with respect to REDD-Plus as it goes through the negotiating group of the CfRN and the G77 and China,” Mr Lagataki said.
“REDD-Plus is very important to us and we have to maintain that especially now that we have established two project sites, one in Vanua Levu and one in Viti Levu with the extensive involvement of landowners, non-state actors and academia.”
Fiji’s REDD-Plus activity started in 2009 with the policy approved by Cabinet in December 2010.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Climate Change Unit is co-implementing Fiji’s REDD-Plus activity with the German International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
Meanwhile, Nauru on behalf of the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS) in Bonn recognized the importance of REDD-Plus in global efforts to bridge the mitigation gap.
5.CIVIL SERVICE STAFF ESTABLISHMENT REGISTER
The Public Service Commission (PSC) is calling for nominations from ministries and departments for the Fiji Civil Service Medal (CSM) award.
Government had agreed to the re-activation of the award of the CSM with the concurrence of Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama early this year.
PSC permanent secretary, Parmesh Chand said civil servants may be awarded the CSM for distinguished devotion to duty and outstanding achievement.
“A committee of permanent secretaries for the CSM has been appointed and they have established a criterion for screening and granting of the awards.
“The nominations submitted need to have names of those civil servants who have served with dedication, are committed to their work, have had excellent attendance, have gone that extra mile, served with high example and hold a position of responsibility. They need to have recorded outstanding achievements, where the nominee has done something extraordinary to further the interests of the public service,” Mr Chand said.
Mr Chand said the names of nominees will be presented to the College of Honour following concurrence of the Prime Minister as Minister responsible for public service and the investiture will be done by the President, His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.
Nominations for the CSM will have to be submitted by permanent secretaries to PSC permanent secretary, who is Chair of the CSM committee by 30 June, 2013.
6.PLANS FOR NEW NAKOROTUBU SECONDARY SCHOOL
Education remains one of the key areas of development for Government and as such plans are underway to build a new secondary school in the province of Ra.
Divisional Commissioner Western Joeli Cawaki, who is on a one week visit to Ra, said the new school planed for the tikina of Nakorotubu will ensure best educational services for children in remote areas of the country.
Nakorotubu is home to 10 villages and six primary schools but does not have a secondary school to date.
“The new secondary school would also offer vocational studies including collaboration with the Fiji National University to provide marine studies as well,” Mr Cawaki said.
“Millions of dollars is poured in by Government to ensure that Fiji’s children continue to have a bright future and this is one of the ‘unfortunate’ and ‘deprived’ areas of the country.”
Ra provincial administrator Sitiveni Tavaga said government wants to ensure the school is ready before elections next year.
“Government wants to ensure that the school is ready before elections next year so that the dream of these villages of having a secondary school to call their own will come into reality,” Mr Tavaga said.
Currently, students from the six primary schools either attend Ratu Kadavulevu School, Queen Victoria School, Ra Provincial Secondary School or to study in Suva.
7.BUREWAI VILLAGERS REAP BENEFITS
Burewai villagers in the tikina of Nakorotubu in Ra, have begun reaping fruits of their labour as a result of a state-funded fishing project.
An income generation initiative by government in the province of Ra, provided the village of Burewai with a fishing boat, an outboard engine and a storeroom last year which now sees them get up to $500 in weekly eanrings.
Village committee member Mr Pita Ratusega said the villagers were thankful to Government for providing a source of income to the village.
“We are happy with the project because it has enabled us to become self sufficient. We managed to buy new fishing gear including fishing nets for women from the profits earned.”
Divisional Commissioner Western Joeli Cawaki, who led a government delegation to the village yesterday, has assured villagers that further assistance will be provided in the form of collecting sheds after it was revealed that villagers were having difficulties in finding a market.
Mr Cawaki said building a collecting shed in strategic locations would enable buyers to pick up goods from the village.
Mr Ratusega said villagers are currently traveling by boat to Lokia to sell their catch, which costs them $200 a week.
“We are thankful that government is looking at establishing a market where buyers would come and buy directly from the source so it would also reduce costs for us,” Mr Ratusega said.
Mr Cawaki said the new collecting sheds would assist in cutting costs for these villages that are looking at going commercial.
“Government is happy to see all Fijians grow economically and this is one of the main reasons that such projects are being implemented so that every Fijian has the equal opportunity in being economically active to support their families, villages, settlements, and the nation,” Mr Cawaki said.