By: Luke Rawalai; Published in Fiji Times on November 26, 2017. Photo Credit: Ron Vave.
The iTaukei people can lose natural resources entrusted to their care if they continue to turn a blind eye to the management of these endowments.
While officially closing the week-long Fiji Locally Marine Managed Areas in Bua Lomanikoro last week, Lau chief Roko Josefa Cinavilakeba, who is the local director of the Pacific Blue Foundation, told members of the Yaubula Management Support in the 14 provinces that nothing was constant.
Roko Josefa said the iTaukei people could either use their natural resources as a means of earning a life or they could sit on it and be ignorant of the treasures they had.
“The purpose of having these annual general meetings is to talk about the potential of our resources and how it could be used sustainably but most importantly to awaken our minds to the wealth we have,” he said.
“In an age when time is changing fast, we must remember that these resources are not wholly ours but something passed to us and something we owe to our future generations. While developers buy our lands and reap its full benefits, we continue to be ignorant of the possibilities that sit right under our noses. A big war that we must fight in this era is the war against idleness and ignorance.”
Roko Josefa said most of the time resource owners started running around when developers were at their doorsteps.
“This should not be the case; we need to talk about our resources and decide on how it would be used in future keeping in mind that there are others in the future who will also rely on them too,” he said.
“While we progress into the future we must not forget our culture and practices for our past will be used to map out our future.”
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