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Women Empowered in Forest Harvesting Training

Gender equality is a priority for the Ministry of Forestry in all facets of the forestry industry.

This is demonstrated by the trainings and workshops the Ministry supports where women participate in fields that are notably thought to be dominated by men.

In a joint effort with the Forest Products, Trade and Training (FPTT) Division, the Forest Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) Unit successfully finished Module 2 Harvesting Supervision Training last week (August 21-25) held at Nasinu.

Forestry Officer MCS, Sandeep Raj, said the primary objective of the training was to equip individuals from various resource ownerships and stakeholder organisations with essential skills and knowledge in the field of harvesting supervision.

According to Mr Raj, both owners of forest resources and participants nominated by stakeholders attended the training.

This not only demonstrates a dedication to industry upskilling but also exemplifies the programme's inclusivity.

"What makes this training particularly noteworthy is the fact that it achieved significant gender inclusivity. For the first time, we had the privilege of having three female participants join the training, demonstrating a positive shift towards balanced representation in traditionally male-dominated sectors," Mr Raj said.

"This achievement aligns seamlessly with our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and we are delighted that the Ministry shares our enthusiasm for this milestone."

The training curriculum covered crucial aspects of the Fiji Forest Harvesting Code of Practice 2013, Forest Harvest Licensing, and Target Setting.

"Participants were not only immersed in theoretical knowledge but were also provided with an opportunity to gain practical insights," Mr Raj added.

A field trip to a nearby logging operation was a highlight of the training because it allowed participants to bridge the gap between theory and practice by giving them an up-close look at the realities of a logging operation.

The participants were awarded Certificates of Completion upon successful completion of the training.

In addition to recognising their dedication, Mr Raj said that this accomplishment "serves as a stepping stone towards their progression to the final Module 3, which is scheduled to begin in October.

Permanent Secretary for Fisheries and Forestry, Atelaite Rokosuka, said the main goal of this training was to address the pressing labour shortage within the timber industry while fostering a profound understanding of sustainable forest management practices.

"By imparting these skills, we aim to empower individuals to not only protect our invaluable forest resources but also ensure their sustainable utilisation for generations to come.

"We believe that this initiative perfectly encapsulates the spirit of cooperation, learning, and innovation. The collaboration between the MCS Project and the Training Division has yielded positive outcomes, and we look forward to continuing our efforts to facilitate meaningful growth and development within the industry," Mrs Rokosuka said.


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