Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Mahendra Reddy says Fiji’s rich biodiversity and the ecosystems supporting it are now at risk.
Dr. Reddy says according to recent research, 25% of bird species, 12% of mammals, 67% of amphibians and 11% of reptiles and plants are already threatened or endangered.
While speaking at the United Nations Convention to Combat Decertification Conference of Parties 14 in New Delhi, Reddy added that the marine ecosystem is also declining with 67% of known mammal species threatened or endangered.
He says most of the natural habitats are also in a degraded status and there has been a small but steady loss of good arable land to non‑agricultural use over the last 30 years.
He says that ecosystem restoration was essential to our livelihood and that Fiji stood with other Parties in fostering a global movement for ecosystem restoration.
Dr. Reddy says Fiji is realizing that land degradation is a major risk, aggravated by climate change, deforestation, urbanization and economic development which are impacting the livelihoods and natural resources and ecosystem services are now more disturbed than ever before.
The Minister for Agriculture says the government adopted the Sustainable Land Management in 2008 with the allocation of the annual capital budget to support the implementation of Sustainable Land Management Projects in Fiji.
He says this reflects the government’s recognition of the importance of this commitment to enhancing the protection of natural resources for the benefit of future generations.