This article was originally published on IUCN.
“…The Government, through the Ministries of Environment and of Fisheries, is working together with other government agencies and a range of stakeholders to achieve its commitment to establish a network of 30% MPAs by 2020. As part of a proposed 10 step process for setting up a network of MPAs, the nation’s marine ecosystem services have been valued.
A national report on these marine ecosystem services values was prepared by environmental economists from the University of the South Pacific under the regional project “Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Management in Pacific Island Countries – MACBIO”. The work was conducted in close partnership with the Government of Fiji and showed that the value of marine ecosystem services for Fiji reached more than FJ$2.5 billion annually based on data for 2014.
“These marine ecosystem service values help us all to acknowledge and understand the importance of Fiji’s diverse marine environment. Fiji’s marine ecosystems contribute significantly to food security, national GDP and livelihoods and Fiji’s communities will suffer if those values are lost,” said Mr Joshua Wycliffe, Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Local Government, Housing and Environment.
And there is no better opportunity than the annual World Oceans Day to launch and share the values provided by Fiji’s marine ecosystems.
Dr Jan Steffen, Project Director for the MACBIO project stated “We are very pleased that these values are now available for government colleagues and marine resource management practitioners in Fiji. The information will assist government on a day to day basis in regard to licencing decisions, environmental impact assessments and inter-sectoral coastal and marine planning in general.”…”
Read on at: IUCN.