The Republic of Fiji
CSI co-operates with UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) in a pilot project on ‘Freshwater Security in Small Pacific Islands’. It aims to draw on, and combine, expertise in social and natural sciences to develop an integrated approach to sustainable development in small islands. The focus is on the local community’s knowledge and perceptions of conservation and the wise use of freshwater and coastal resources. Groundwater studies were supported in co-operation with IHP and the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC).
As part of the ‘Second World Water Forum’ a thematic session on ‘Water and Indigenous Peoples’ was held in The Hague, The Netherlands in March 2000. A speaker from Fiji was invited.
The Small Islands Voice project started in January 2002. Its goals are to overcome the isolation of small islands by providing their citizens, including young people, with opportunities to voice their opinions on environmental and development issues in a variety of ways: radio, television, print and Internet-based debate. In this way the general public will be able to contribute to the 10-year review of the ‘Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Islands Developing States’ adopted in Barbados in 1994; and play a more effective role in decision-making in their islands. Fiji became involved in the project through the Small Islands Voice Internet-based global forum. Correspondents from Fiji contributed to discussions on foreign investment ‘Cook Islands: Untapped Paradise?’ and tourism ‘Working Together to Develop a Successful Tourism Strategy’.
In April 2003 the Small Islands Voice project coordinator and a member of staff from the UNESCO Apia Office visited Fiji to determine the level of interest in government and non-governmental agencies in participating in the Small Islands Voice project. Fiji now participates fully in the project.