1st JCC SFRM Project Meeting Convened

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Ministry of Forestry Permanent Secretary, Dr. Vaeno Vigulu, JICA Resident Representative for SI Mr Kyoji Mizutani, JICA Solomon Islands office staff and staff of the Ministry of Forestry and Research with technical experts under SFRM project attended the 1st JCC Project meeting.

A Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) between Japanese International Agency Cooperation (JICA) and Ministry of Forestry and Research (MoFR) on Sustainable Forest Resource Management (SFRM) Project has convened.

The first meeting held on 30th January 2018 at Heritage Park Hotel ends with the approval of the five years’ work plan for the project.

The one day meeting convened after formalities between Solomon Islands Government represented by MoFR and Japanese Government leading up to the initial signing of a memorandum of understanding on this collaboration in March 2017.

Ministry of Forestry and Research Permanent Secretary and JCC Chair, Dr Vaeno Vigulu thanks the Solomon Islands Democratic Coalition for Change Government (SIDCCG), JICA, the Government of Japan and the people of Japan for the great opportunity to collaborate on this project.

“We understand that our forest resources are rapidly exploited and depleted at an unsustainable rate

“Thus this project collaboration is timely as we are looking for ways and alternatives to the sustainable use of our forest resources,” he says.

“Through this collaboration we can identify alternatives that can be of assistance to smallholder tree growers and sustainable uses of their resources that will improve livelihoods in the rural settings of this country at the same time will have slow down effect on the rapid exploitation of timber resources across the our islands.

“More importantly it’s an opportunity that will enhance and build on the frameworks that have been developed and on the ongoing Policies of the current government, the SIDCCG,” he adds.

Dr Vigulu also expresses the efforts by JICA since the first consultation for the development of the SFRM Project as remarkable.

Noting the technical expertise provided through JICA officers posted at the Ministry as drastic measure towards achieving the SFRM project goals.

“JICA had standby the Ministry to develop the Project concept and with further consultations developed into the Record of Discussions with plans and implementation schedule.

“To date, the Ministry of Forestry and Research has benefited on this Project through continuous capacity building of its officers on various Forestry technical subjects and areas in Japan last year 2017 and will continue into 2018 and thereafter.

“The various trainings offered are handy to address forest resources management and utilization related policies mandated by   the current   and subsequent governments.

“We are determined to add knowledge and skills, and build officer’s capacities to improve policy implementations and address forestry contemporary issues now and into the future,” says Permanent Secretary, Dr Vigulu

Resident Representative of JICA Solomon Islands and JCC Co-Chair, Mr Kyoji Mizutani says the initial concept project has limited scope however after careful examination and intensive discussion, competence of the Ministry is vital key to dealing with issues of the forest sector.

Thus JICA is grateful to assist and provide whatever means under this SFRM project, he says.

“Our project is designed to accommodate as much holistic approach as we can, knowing very well the importance of the forest sector in Solomon Islands.

“Moreover its critical role and impact on the nation’s environment, human lives and economy as well,”

Mr. Mizutani says through this JICA’s technical cooperation, expectation is to set up a sustainable management system for forest in Solomon Islands.

“It sounds a bit ambitious to people outside of the sector but I know we all are very serious to deal with the many challenges we are facing in the nation.

“We all also have strong determination to commit ourselves in endeavour to seek ideal, reasonable and realistic solutions towards these challenges.”