FNU team contributes to international conference

Press Release Posted On: August 30, 2023

FNU’s College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (CAFF) staff and students part of the four-day International.

The Fiji National University (FNU) encourages student and staff participation at various community, national and international platforms to further enhance student experience and staff capacity building.

The University’s College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (CAFF) staff and students were recently part of the four-day International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO) Division 5 Conference in Australia to discuss knowledge-sharing, insights, and best practices related to forest products within the forestry industry.

Acting Dean CAFF Dr Kaliova Ravuiwasa said the College’s attendance to the conference in Cairns, was a testament of the great partnership that CAFF has built with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

“The College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is committed to work closely with ACIAR in ensuring that capacity building for our staff and students who are future researchers of Fiji are enhanced,” Dr Ravuiwasa said.

The FNU team consisted of the College’s Acting Dean, Dr Kaliova Ravuiwasa, CAFF Assistant Professor in Forestry, Dr Shipra Shah, Assistant Professor in Agricultural Extension, Dr William Kerua, Assistant Professor in Agribusiness, Dr Salesh Kumar, Assistant Instructor in Forestry, Joshua Young, and Acting Head of Forestry Department, Matthew Saukuru. The trip was sponsored by ACIAR.

Dr Ravuiwasa further added that the conference was an opportunity for both CAFF supervisors and students to learn, share experiences, and ideas with forest researchers from other parts of the world.

Department of Forestry Acting Head, Matthew Saukuru said FNU’s participation in the conference contributed to the growth and progress of the University’s work in forestry education, research, and industry.

“The attendance of six staff members and five postgraduate students from our campus at the Conference played a crucial role in enhancing their professional development and knowledge within the field,” Saukuru said.

Fiji National University’s (FNU) College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s (CAFF), Department of Forestry Acting Head, Matthew Saukuru.

CAFF’s participation in the IUFRO conference aligned with FNU’s Strategic Plan 2021-2026, Pillar 2, to build partnerships with overseas universities, governments, NGOs and funders to finance internationally competitive, collaborative, challenge-based research.

“This participation ensured diverse representation and contributed to a well-rounded learning experience at the conference,” Saukuru said.

He further added that the attendees had the opportunity to engage with industry experts and peers, exchanging insights and experiences related to forest products.

“Two of the postgraduate students also presented their own research findings, contributing to the advancement of knowledge within the field,” Saukuru said.

The postgraduate students comprised FNU’s CAFF Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students Maika Tabukovu and Tiraon Taioti, and Master in Science students Shavneel Kumar, Lilly Qaranivalu and Divinesh Swamy.

“The event provided a platform for networking with professionals, researchers, and industry leaders, allowing attendees to expand their professional connections.”

IUFRO Division 5 focusses on products sourced from both natural and planted forests. At its essence, Division 5 seeks to understand the varied factors affecting the way forest plants grow and produce woody biomass, and how forest materials are used by industries and local communities.