Climate, human conduct decrease resources

Fiji’s biological resources are decreasing as a result of climate change and human conduct, says Agriculture and Environment Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy.

He made the comment while launching a Symposium on Biodiversity Innovative Solutions from Our Nature in Suva earlier this week.

Dr Reddy said the week-long program would comprise activities that were interlinked and would act as a buildup towards International Biodiversity Day today.

“This year’s theme “Our Solutions are in Nature” illustrates that biodiversity remains the answer to several sustainable development challenges that we all face,” he said.

Dr Reddy said the aim of the symposium was to plant seeds for a policy for biodiversity innovation for Fiji.

“Our agrarian population sustenance is dependent on a large extent of our biological resource.

“But we are facing a major dilemma now.

“While our population is increasing, our stocks of biological resources are decreasing, threatened by climate change as well as our own conduct.”

He said Fijians were indiscriminately harvesting natural resources without any concern for its sustainability.

“We are treating our natural habitat as waste dump sites and we are pulling land under biological resources for industrial and commercial activity.

“Not only are we reducing the stock of biological resources, we are also threating the extinction of some of the endemic biological species.”

Dr Reddy said now, more than ever, Fiji needed biodiversity champions.

“We need leaders who will not only advance the protection, expansion and branding of our biological resources, but also bring in others into the net to be champions of biodiversity.”

The Environment Ministry launched its policy on the conservation and protection of Fiji’s endangered iguana species and unveil its Coral Reef Management and Conservation policy yesterday.