The Fiji GEF 5 STAR R2R project’s objective is to preserve biodiversity, ecosystem services, sequester carbon, improve climate resilience and sustain livelihoods through a ridge-to-reef management of priority water catchments on the two main islands of Fiji. The project will run for four years (2015-18) with GEF budget of USD 7.39 million and substantial co-financing from Fiji Government, Private Sector, UNDP and Conservation NGOs (USD 30.24 million). The Fiji R2R project is part of the Program on “Pacific Islands Ridge-to-Reef National Priorities – Integrated Water, Land, Forest and Coastal Management to Preserve Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, Store carbon, Improve Climate Resilience and Sustain Livelihoods”. This R2R approach in priority catchments will address key environmental issues in an integrated manner. It will bolster Fiji’s national system of marine protected areas through an enhanced, representative and sustainable system of LMMA including greater protection of threatened marine species. Negative impacts of land-based activities on these MPAs will be reduced through development and implementation of integrated catchment management plans, including mangrove protection, the adoption of appropriate sustainable land use practices and riparian restoration in adjoining upstream watersheds as well as terrestrial PAs, restored and rehabilitated forests. These terrestrial PAs, coupled with an increase in the permanent native forest estate, including through assisted natural reforestation of degraded grasslands, will contribute to Fiji’s REDD+ strategy through an increase in forest carbon stocks. The new PAs will help conserve threatened ecosystems, such as lowland tropical rainforest and moist forests, and species such as critically endangered/endangered plants, amphibians and reptiles and freshwater vertebrates and invertebrates. The R2R planning and overarching management approach is comprehensive; it aims to cover all activities within a catchment and out to the sea to ensure natural resource sustainability and biodiversity. The selected priority catchments are Ba River, Tuva River and Waidina River/Rewa Delta on Viti Levu and Labasa River, Vunivia River and Tunuloa district on Vanua Levu: these catchments encompass a diverse and geographically dispersed group with markedly different environments and scales, intensities of land use and degradation, challenges and opportunities and provide an ideal suite of learning environments for biodiversity conservation (Component 1), forest carbon stock protection and increase (Component 2) and integrated natural resources management (Component 3). Broadly based Catchment Management Committees will be established for those catchments, viz. Ba, Labasa, Tuva and Waidina/Rewa which have major catchment-wide matters concerns such as land degradation, sedimentation and flooding. Component 4 (knowledge management) will ensure that project experiences and results are properly captured and widely disseminated, and contribute to data and information systems on biodiversity, forests, climate change, and land, coastal and marine management in Fiji.
UNDAF Outcome(s): UNDAF for the Pacific Sub-region 2013-2017 – Outcome Area 1: Environmental management, climate change and disaster risk management
UNDP Strategic Plan Environment and Sustainable Development Primary Outcome: Output 2.5. Legal and regulatory frameworks, policies and institutions enabled to ensure the conservation, sustainable use, access and benefit sharing of natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystems, in line with international conventions and national legislation
UNDP Strategic Plan Secondary Outcome: Output 2.4: Frameworks and dialogue processes engaged for effective and transparent engagement of civil society in national development
Executing Entity/Implementing Partner: Ministry of Local Government, Housing and Environment, Government of Fiji
Implementing Entity/Responsible Partners: Ministry of Local Government, Housing and Environment, Government of Fiji/UNDP