Stakeholders convene to discuss the sustainable management of construction materials

Jul 25, 2018

Participants at the National Training Workshop on Standards and Specifications for Construction Materials, Naviti Resort, Coral Coast (Photo: UNDP/Setaita Tavanabola)

Coral Coast, Fiji – About 40 participants are meeting this week at the Coral Coast for the National Training Workshop on Standards and Specifications for Construction Materials. The aim of the workshop is to enhance technical knowledge of public and private sector agencies, regional organisations and quarry associations of Fiji in the management and supply of construction materials.

The four-day workshop will facilitate a business-to-business knowledge exchange on quarry management best-practices to improve the performance of the sector and contribute toward inclusive and sustainable development.

The event is organized in partnership with the Fiji Roads Authority under the initiative of the ACP-EU Development Programme, which is a three-year African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States project, coordinated by the ACP Secretariat, financed by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and implemented by UNDP.

UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme, Country Coordinator for Fiji, Josefa Caniogo said, “The training is an important opportunity to provide national level training to participants on the topic of quality assurance to meet the specified standards for a resilient and sustainable development.”

“It will also include inputs on quarry management and allow discussions and exchange between the operators and the authorities to enhance communications and fill identified gaps.”

The objective of the workshop includes enhancing technical knowledge on operating standards, technologies, techniques and practices for improved quarry management. Additionally, the workshop provides a baseline on the licensing process and facilitates knowledge exchange between the private sector and the authorities with the support of technical stakeholders.

In his opening remarks, Fiji Roads Authority Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Moore said, “This is extremely important and the outcomes from this workshop will help us identify the gaps that we have in terms of standards and specifications for construction materials and discuss methods to bridge those gaps as there is a push to improve everything that we do.”

Mineral Resources Department Fiji, Acting Manager for the Mining Division, Marika Ritova said, “This programme has highlighted a lot of areas that we need to improve on and we are looking forward to this week’s discussion, as we work to develop a strategy that will enhance the efficiency of licensing, regulation and monitoring for this industry.”

On day one, the training covered the regulations and licensing process, and a roundtable discussion was held on addressing issues with the current process; day two covered capacity building, contract management and discussion on best practices; day three, will discuss quality assurance in the low-value mineral industry (standards and specifications); and day four, will include site visits for participants.

At the end of the training, participants will be required to develop a return-to-work plan on a project plan that they will carry out on their return, applying the knowledge and skills gained from the workshop to influence change.

The ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme is a €13.1 million capacity building programme designed to build the profile, improve the management of Neglected Development Minerals (industrial minerals, construction materials, dimension stones and semi-precious stones). It is two-tier programme implemented regionally in the ACP as well as in-country in 6 pilot countries including Fiji, synergising actions that are mutually reinforcing and interdependent, while at the same time harnessing capabilities for South-South capacity development through joint, transversal and peer-to-peer learning initiatives.

The workshop concludes on the 26 July 2018.

Contact information

Setaita Tavanabola, Communications Associate, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, Suva, Fiji; Tel: +679 3227 523; Email: setaita.tavanabola@undp.org;

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