FNU launches Sustainability Week campaign

Press Release Posted On: September 27, 2023

The Fiji National University’s (FNU) College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s (CAFF) initiated its first sustainable apiary during the launching ceremony of the University’s 2023 Sustainability Week campaign.

The sustainability campaign, with the theme “Green Investment: The Way Forward,” organised by FNU’s Division of Capital Projects and Infrastructure (DCPI), will be held at different Colleges throughout the week.

CAFF’s first sustainable apiary, located at the Aquaponic Farm at FNU’s Koronivia campus, was established in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture. The site will accommodate a model bee farm to train students and bee farmers around the country.

Chief Guest at the event and Conservation International Director Mere Lakeba applauded FNU’s commitment and said she was humbled by the climate emergency declaration made by the University.

“I applaud your willingness to form meaningful partners across national, international, and supernatural levels and establish innovative solutions to achieve global greener prosperity for our current and future generations,” she said.

“I am informed that this is the second convening of its kind, bringing future leaders, practitioners, scientists, civil society, and NGO partners with the sole intent to dialogue, to network, and to design meaningful and practical solutions to the main emerging issues facing our generation today.”

“This week’s convening is a testament to the visionary leadership, the wisdom, the growth, and the aspiration of the University.”

“At Conservation International, we have moved away from sector-focused and agency-led programmes; we are now putting the people in the centre, and now we are only designing people-centred programmes; and interestingly, today, we have a chance to move into the space of the Fiji National University.”

“There is an overwhelming collection of literature that continues to say that to deal with the challenges of today, we must first deal with the people, and nature can solve its own issue.”

Acting CAFF Dean, Dr Kaliova Ravuiwasa, further advised that the college is proud to host the opening ceremony for the sustainable week for the university.

“The initiation of the apiary is the beginning of a series of sustainability events that the college will host throughout the week, and we remain committed to contributing to the various Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 15, which is Life on Land this week,” Dr Ravuiwasa said.

CAFF Acting Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching, Dr Shalini Singh, said that the college has undertaken sustainable initiatives aligning its values of community engagement to make a positive impact in the communities we serve.

“The College has invested in planting native forest trees on our Koronivia and Ba campuses for educational purposes, where these will in the future be our forest reserves,” Dr Singh said.

“We are now offering our TVET programmes, such as the Certificate in Agriculture and short courses for community upskilling, at our Naduna campus in Labasa as well as our Ba campus.”

“We began offering this programme at the Naduna campus this semester and will be offering it at the Ba campus starting in 2024, whereby we will also be offering the Diploma in Forestry programme.”

Director Capital Projects and Infrastructure (DCPI), Niranjwan Chettiar said that FNU, being the national university, has a responsibility to take effective actions and work towards the achievement of the SDGs.

“As such, the University Sustainability Plan is a strategic roadmap that reflects the goals that will be undertaken to minimise environmental impacts, promote social responsibility, and ensure long-term economic viability,” Chettiar said.

“At FNU, it is our responsibility to take effective actions and work towards the achievement of the SDGs to address a wide range of global challenges, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, and justice.”

During the launch of the week-long sustainability campaign, the participants planted a selected variety of dwarf coconut trees that will serve as windbreakers to protect the apiary and its keepers, the honeybees.

The Fiji National University’s (FNU) College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS) Dean, Dr William May planting windbreakers to protect the apiary and its keepers, the honeybees during FNU’s 2023 Sustainability Week launch.

CAFF Assistant Professor in Animal Science, Dr Poasa Tabuaciri, said CAFF was looking forward to the week-long event, whereby the College will be promoting sustainable farming systems to maintain the ecosystem and provide the communities with sustainable food production and environment.

College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry(CAFF) Assistant Professor in Animal Science, Dr Poasa Tabuaciri.

“The sustainable apiary that was initiated today is a first-of-its kind model in Fiji, and the coconut trees that the participants planted today will remind students now and in the future about the importance of sustainable agriculture in Fiji and the region,” Dr Tabuaciri said.