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Fisheries and Forestry Sectors Key to Fiji’s Blue and Green Recovery

The Ministries of Fisheries and Forestry are acutely aware of the importance of the two sectors in Fiji’s economic recovery in the wake of the challenges caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the intensifying natural disasters.

Following Parliament’s debate of the National Budget, scheduled to start from Monday 26 July, the Ministries will provide a detailed breakdown of their respective budgetary allocations for the new financial year to explain how the budget will impact the communities within the two sectors, especially from a socio-economic perspective and the sustainable management of resources. The Ministries will also review what they were able to achieve in this immediate past financial year. The narratives below provide a broad overview of the Ministries’ plans.    


The Ministry of Fisheries is mandated to lead the whole-of-nation approach towards sustainably managing Fiji’s fisheries resources. And it does this through increasing collaboration with the various stakeholders from the subsistence fisher in the remote islands, rural villages and informal settlements to the inshore and offshore commercial fishers, among others. The underlying philosophy is to sustainably manage this marine resource to support food security and economic growth whilst also ensuring its sustainability for posterity.

Given this setting, the Ministry will review and implement its strategies in three key fishery areas – offshore fisheries, coastal fisheries and aquaculture, taking into account the unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the on-going challenges caused by climate change, both of which provide a compelling need to operate under a new normal. The Ministry will also develop fit for purpose legislative framework, enforce compliance, review the offshore and coastal licensing system, provide advisory and support services, and conduct appropriate research and marine conservation activities all of which will be aligned to Government’s national priorities, and to Fiji’s commitment to international conventions.

The Ministry operates a nationwide service centre network ensuring quality and excellence which is embedded in the processes, service delivery and its people. This service centre network implements key programmes, projects and activities, connecting the industry to the community and its development partners. It works diligently to balance the cultural significance of fishing and the economic development of the fisheries sector, while also ensuring that Fiji meets the national, regional and international obligations to protecting marine resources. 

The Ministry’s efforts to achieving a sustainable blue economy remains steadfast. It will continue to incorporate climate resilience and adaptation efforts through practical and viable adaptation solutions – for the benefit of individual fisheries businesses, the sector, and the communities it serves.  These efforts include combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, fisheries sector trade subsidies, maximising resource rent, building Fiji’s food security, harnessing the full potential of Fiji’s aquaculture and inshore industries through import substitution and diversification, blue carbon trading, marine biodiversity conservation and disaster management. 


Trees and forests play an important role in an increasingly environment and nature-conscious world. They not only store carbon, provide clean air, prevent soil erosion, protect water sources, and provide shelter for countless organisms and humans, but they also offer the opportunity to meet humanity’s socio-economic and food security needs, among other things. Globally, trees and forests now have an elevated platform as a nature-based solution to addressing climate change and the increasing number and intensity of natural disasters like the Category Five Tropical Cyclones that have proven disastrous to Fiji. Scientific literature now promotes less destruction to trees and forests as a means of reducing the spread of zoonotic diseases like the COVID-19 global virus.

In recognition of the importance of trees and forests, the Fijian Government has and continues to re-position itself to promote the sustainable management of Fiji’s forests. The 30 Million Trees in 15 Years initiative, for instance, is part of Fiji’s green recovery. This programme, and many other initiatives including supporting economic growth at the community and national levels, are at the heart of the Ministry of Forestry’s strategic direction. Understanding the national imperatives and supporting the forestry sector which in turn provides economic empowerment to Fijians are vitally important.

The 2021-2022 Budget will enable the Ministry to achieve such plans and also continue the momentum of meeting Fiji’s national and international obligations such as the reduction of greenhouse gases and carbon emission. 

Specifically, the 2021-2022 Budget will ensure that the Ministry carries out and completes the National Forest Inventory. The inventory is normally carried out every decade and will help ascertain the status of Fiji’s forests and thus chart the way forward for Fiji in terms of the sustainable utilisation and management of forests. The Budget will enable the Ministry to continue Fiji’s mass tree planting to increase forest cover, protect forest ecosystems and biodiversity, while also offsetting some of our carbon output. Tree planting sites will range from degraded forest areas, plantation areas to greening towns and cities. The signing of the Emissions Reduction Programme Agreement (ERPA) in January 2021 with the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) under the World Bank will further support the tree-planting initiative and minimise carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

The Budget will allow the Ministry to improve its efforts to assist business. The Ministry rolled out its online trade licensing system in 2020 and will broaden this digital scope to other types of licenses, guaranteeing that business processes are streamlined with efficacy. Ensuring greater returns on investment, this Budget will enable the Ministry to also focus on value added products and non-timber products that have proven potential to generate quick and long-lasting returns to resource owners and forest based companies. Forest certification which had started last year for the mahogany industry will continue to be supported, guaranteeing that Fiji receives optimal benefits from our highly valued Mahogany.

The Budget will also enable the Ministry to continue Government’s rehabilitation works in the maritime and rural communities rebuilding homes and restoring hope in people’s lives. While sustainably managing Fiji’s forest resources, the Ministry will continue to rejuvenate economic activity, promote equitable distribution of wealth and contribute to overall economic growth and ultimately prosperity.

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