Marine Atlas: Maximizing Benefits for Fiji

FIJI’S COMMITMENT TO MARINE CONSERVATION Fiji is committed to sustainably managing and conserving its marine values, so much so that its efforts in this re- spect extend beyond its international obligation of conserving 10 per cent of its waters by 2020.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the 2005 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference in Mauritius, to protect 30 per cent of its seas as marine managed and protected areas by 2020. This commitment was reconfirmed at the 2014 SIDS Conference in Samoa, through its then Ministry of Strategic Planning, Na- tional Development and Statistics. Through the Environment Management Act, the Government of Fiji has established the high-level, cross-ministerial National Environment Council, which is responsible for setting up technical ad- visory groups, such as the Protected Area Com- mittee (PAC). The PAC is harnessing the expertise of the Marine Working Group to help implement a national network of MPAs.

There are six objectives that Fiji’s MPA network aims to achieve:

Fiji has long realized the many values it derives from its sea, and the importance of sustainably managing and planning its uses (see also previ- ous chapter). Thus, in 1994, Fiji joined many other countries in signing and ratifying the international Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), under which Fiji has accepted international responsibili- ties and obligations, including Aichi Target 11: “By 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem servic- es, are conserved through effectively and equi- tably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation meas- ures, and integrated into the wider landscape and seascape.” However, considering the great importance of its marine resources, Fiji has gone even further. The Government of Fiji has enshrined the protection of its ocean values within its Green Growth Framework, which builds upon its commitment made through the

1. Ensure food security 2. Sustain livelihoods 3. Restore and sustain the health and productivity of marine resources 4. Minimize conflicts between uses 5. Build resilience to climate change and disasters 6. Restore and conserve biological diversity and ecosystem services Fiji’s total waters extend over 1.3 million km 2 , with inshore areas comprising roughly 2 per cent and offshore areas 98 per cent (see graphic).

The vision for Fiji’s MPA network is:

“A comprehensive, ecologically representative network of MPAs that restores and sustains the health, productivity, resilience, biological diversity and ecosystem services of coastal and marine systems, and promotes the quality of life for our communities that depend on them.”

Inshore area 30 000 km2

Offshore area : 1 270 000 km2

30% Target : Inshore - 10 000 km2 protected & managed

30% Target : O shore - 381 000 km2 protected & managed

10% Target : Inshore - 3 000 km2 protected & managed

10% Target : O shore - 127 000 km2 protected & managed




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