Andrea, an Australian Landcare International member and facilitator for the Leigh Catchment Australia, took the role as Landcare Trainer. Australia’s Crawford Fund provided funds for the workshop.
Training was carried out over five days with three village communities (Naboutini, Nagado and Korobebe) each receiving one day’s classroom training and a half day field trip of the total Sabeto catchment.
Training on soil conservation and agroforestry were given by specialists from the Fiji Ministry of Agriculture and the Secretariat for Pacific Communities.
About 15 participants from each village attended the training sessions at each community.
The importance of climate change impacts on daily life are well understood by Pacific Islanders and participants were open to discussions of their impact on agricultural production and marketing. There was also a strong appreciation of the need to protect land and existing forests, and expand the use of agroforestry.
While the three communities had been designated Landcare groups, they were in an early stage of development and appreciated the discussion and information exchange on community development and food production.
The catchment wide field trips gave each community a sense of their part in the overall catchment management and a context for food production, erosion control, tree planting and environmental protection where needed.
Our thoughts are with the people of Fiji following the tragedy of Cyclone Winston which struck in February 2016.