Nadi, Fiji — Representatives of community resource owners from the Central and Western Division of Fiji are currently gathered in Nadi for a five-day, training of the trainers (ToT) workshop on enterprise skills, market analysis, investment promotion and value addition in the Development Minerals sector.
In comparison to the metals sector, Development Minerals have closer links with the local economy, and have the potential to generate more local jobs, with a greater impact on poverty reduction.
This is partly because the sector is dominated by small and medium scale domestic businesses.
Speaking at the opening of the training, the Assistant Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management and the Standing Committee Chair on Natural Resources, Hon. Joeli Cawaki, spoke of the importance of development minerals.
“We only have finite natural resources, if we do not sustainably manage it, our future generations will be affected,” said Hon. Cawaki.
Hon. Cawaki added, “I encourage participants to make the most of this opportunity to build skills and exchange experiences, as well as to take back these learnings into the provinces and to your communities.”
The extraction of Development Minerals has important implications for sustainable development, however, they have not received adequate attention for their potential to impact livelihoods; and few development programmes have provided support for this mining sub-sector.
Project Coordinator for the ACP-EU Development Minerals Project Fiji with the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, Josefa Caniogo, added that the ToT workshop provided the opportunity for resource owners to create a strong knowledge base to create a sustainable and equitable industry and lay the foundations for resilient long-term growth with other stakeholders.
“This training should contribute to building the capacity of key stakeholders to better manage development minerals, particularly by resource owners, which can channel the wealth from these resources into reducing poverty, creating employment and increased investments in infrastructure development,” said Caniogo.
“The core of the trainers involved in the TOT have a background on small-scale businesses/SMEs, legislative understanding of the Mineral Resources Act and Business Development Services.”
Fiji is one of six focus countries globally undertaking in-depth capacity building and country level training on Development Minerals which is delivered in partnership with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
The training is facilitated by the National Centre for Small and Micro Enterprises Development (NCSMED) and ends on Friday 22 December 2017.
The training is delivered through the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme which is an initiative by the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, coordinated by the ACP Secretariat, financed by the European Union (EU) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and implemented by UNDP.
Jone Tuiipelehaki Raqauqau, Communications Associate – Effective Governance, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji. E: firstname.lastname@example.org, P: (679) 3227 552, M: (679) 9936 744