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Fiji Demonstrates Commitment to Sustainable Forestry Practices and Collaboration on a Global Scale

Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) Plenary 2023: A Landmark Event Shaping Fiji's Forest Management and Climate Action Strategies

In a momentous gathering of experts and practitioners from around the world, the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) Plenary 2023 concluded recently, leaving a lasting impact on the global forest monitoring and climate action landscape. 
The event held in Italy, Rome, hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), provided an invaluable platform for knowledge exchange, progress assessment, and identification of opportunities to enhance forest management and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The GFOI Plenary 2023 placed a strong emphasis on the vital role of forest information in combatting climate change. Prominent themes discussed during the three-day event included REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), Restoration, and Blue Carbon. Lead partners such as Australia, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States, along with international organisations including the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the World Bank, supported the Plenary.
The Plenary agenda was designed to facilitate interactive sessions, panel discussions, presentations, and breakout sessions. These engaging platforms allowed attendees to exchange experiences, share best practices, and foster collaborations aimed at strengthening forest monitoring capabilities, particularly in tropical countries.

Fiji’s participation at the global meeting
One of the notable attendees at the Plenary was Mohammed Shorab, the Senior Resource Assessment from Fiji's Ministry of Forestry. His participation on behalf of Fiji in the event was made possible through full funding provided by the UN FAO, with the Ministry of Forestry overseeing the necessary arrangements. 
Mr Shorab's participation enabled him to contribute to discussions on forest monitoring and climate action, effectively representing Fiji's interests and sharing valuable insights from the country's forestry sector.
“The outcomes of the GFOI Plenary 2023 bear significant implications for Fiji and its ongoing efforts in forest management and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. In-depth discussions and presentations on topics such as REDD+, NDCs, and related initiatives have provided Fiji with invaluable insights that can be applied to the country's own strategies and policies,” Mr Shorab said.
By actively participating in the Plenary, Fiji has showcased its commitment to global forest monitoring efforts and its dedication to tackling climate change.
Beyond the official sessions, side events, and networking opportunities played a crucial role in fostering connections between Mr Shorab and global experts in the field. 
“These interactions pave the way for potential partnerships and knowledge-sharing, offering Fiji the chance to enhance its forest monitoring capabilities and contribute to broader global initiatives,” Mr Shorab said.
The GFOI Plenary 2023 marked a defining moment in the quest for effective forest monitoring and climate action worldwide. Fiji's representation by Mr Shorab underscored the country's unwavering commitment to sustainable forestry practices.
“By participating in this globally significant event, Fiji gained valuable insights, formed critical connections, and contributed to the global discourse on forest monitoring and emissions reduction,” Mr Shorab said.
“As the world grapples with the challenges posed by climate change, events like the GFOI Plenary 2023 serve as beacons of hope, offering opportunities for countries like Fiji to align their forest management and climate action strategies with global efforts. The knowledge gained from the Plenary will aid Fiji in developing robust policies and implementing effective measures to mitigate deforestation, promote forest restoration, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Enhancing Fiji’s forest monitoring capabilities
The insights and best practices shared at the Plenary will assist Fiji in enhancing its forest monitoring capabilities. This will enable the country to accurately assess changes in forest cover, monitor biodiversity, and measure carbon sequestration, which are crucial components in Fiji's efforts to meet its Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. 
“By implementing advanced remote sensing technologies and adopting standardised methodologies discussed during the Plenary, Fiji can strengthen its forest monitoring systems and improve data collection, analysis, and reporting,” Mr Shorab added.
Furthermore, the connections made by Mr Shorab during the Plenary will contribute to the formation of partnerships and collaborations that can benefit Fiji's forest management efforts. 
By engaging with international organisations, governments, and experts in the field, Fiji can access technical expertise, funding opportunities, and capacity-building support. 
“Collaborative projects and knowledge exchange initiatives can empower Fiji to implement sustainable forestry practices, promote community engagement in forest conservation, and explore innovative solutions for climate resilience,” he added.

GFOI Plenary impact on Fiji's forest management and climate action strategies
The outcomes of the GFOI Plenary 2023 will not only impact Fiji's forest management and climate action strategies but also contribute to global efforts in combating climate change. By sharing its experiences, challenges, and successes, Fiji becomes a valuable participant in the global dialogue on forest monitoring, REDD+, and emissions reduction. 
Mr Shorab shared that Fiji's active engagement in international forums demonstrates its commitment to contributing to the broader agenda of sustainable development and climate resilience.
“As Fiji moves forward, it is expected that the knowledge gained from the GFOI Plenary 2023 will be integrated into the country's forest policies, national action plans and sustainable development strategies. 
“By embracing the principles and recommendations discussed at the Plenary, Fiji can strengthen its position as a leader in sustainable forestry practices in the Pacific region and inspire other nations to prioritise forest conservation and climate action,” he added.
The GFOI Plenary 2023 serves as a reminder that effective forest monitoring and global collaboration are essential components in addressing climate change. With Fiji's active participation and commitment to sustainable forest management, the country is poised to make significant contributions to the preservation of its natural resources, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and the overall global effort to combat climate change.

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