Compliance training to Forestry and iTaukei conservation officers

In August 2016, ACFEC partnered with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (sub-regional office for the Pacific Islands) to deliver training in Environmental Compliance and Enforcement in Suva, Fiji.  The training course received funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and was supported by the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests (MFF).

The primary aim of the course was to develop best practice investigatory skills relating to breaches of forestry protection legislation, including the Forest Decree 1992, iTaukei Land Trust Act and Environment Management Act 2005.

Hosted by the MFF at the Fiji Forest Training Centre in Suva’s exceptional Colo-i-Suva region, the training was produced as part of the FAO’s “Forest and Protected Area Management” project. It was developed in order to promote the capacity for compliance and enforcement in the sectors of forestry, environment, tourism and heritage.

Officers from the iTaukei Land Trust Board, iTaukei Affairs, National Trust of Fiji, and the Department of Forestry attended the competency based course which developed the skills of the officers through a range of contextualised scenarios and field exercises. The training utilized the officers’ underlying knowledge in their fields of expertise and further developed their capacity in criminal, civil and administrative actions.

The overall response to the delivery of the course was very good to excellent.  Responses included: “I really enjoyed this course. This course has given a lot of insight into different legislations, powers and provisions. I know that the information I now have will help me greatly in my ward. Vinaka vakalevu.” (Conservation Officer); “These are very important tools to understand (...) I now feel equipped with a comprehensive understanding of the Legislation.” (Forest Guard); and, “The training was very informative and can be applied in real life situation[s] in my workplace. It was a well organised and professional workshop.” (Estate Officer).