Posted June 1996
Technical Consultation of South Pacific Small Island Developing States
on Sustainable Development in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Apia, Western Samoa, 6-9 May 1996
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
and South Pacific Regional Environment Programme
9. The purpose of the Consultation is to define a framework for collaboration and joint action in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, as well as to identify appropriate mechanisms for support and implementation. The Consultation is one of the major steps taken by FAO and SPREP in relation to the UN Global Conference Programme of Action on the Sustainable Development of Small Developing States. It elaborates on certain areas by focusing on the specific needs of the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) and develops the agriculture, forestry and fisheries agenda by identifying actions, policies and measures and priority areas of assistance for the sustainability of this sector.
10. A critical policy consideration for all PICs is the need to balance self-sufficiency in basic food items against the promotion of export-led growth in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Whereas PICs should take full advantage of export opportunities available to them in the interests of generating employment and national income, care should be exercised to ensure that policies focusing on export development are not short term, unsustainable and at the cost of a high level of self-sufficiency in basic food production.
11. Given the high vulnerability of PICs to natural disasters and economic shocks, over which they have no or very little control, these problems should not be exacerbated by being heavily dependent on food imports. Changing economic conditions and social needs within the South Pacific will face PICs with the challenge of securing their food needs, in an environment of growing competition on the world market, increasing food prices, shrinking natural resources, and changing climate.
12. PICs should, therefore, strive to secure a high degree of self-reliance in food, fibre and construction material, which implies, inter alia, effective natural resource management to ensure long-term resource productivity.
13. Several organizations are actively involved in the promotion of sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries development. Considerable progress has been achieved in defining a Regional Programming Process (South Pacific Forum Regional Strategy, 1995), defining sustainable development issues (ACP document, 1995), and assessing the needs for improved living standards and the quality of the environment (Report to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development on Activities to Implement the Barbados Programme of Action in the Pacific Region, 1996). Others efforts include developing regional and national Codes of Logging Practices (1994-95), the Kyoto Declaration and Plan of Action on Fisheries Contribution to Food Security, the UN Agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stock, the FAO Code of Conduct on Responsible Fisheries, the Palau Arrangement and the Minimum Terms and Conditions of Access (both administered by FFA).
14. Areas deserving further attention for addressing the special challenges of the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors are indicated below. As regards important issues such as climate change, natural and environmental disasters, land resources, and others, reference is made to the UN Global Conference Programme of Action.
15. Nutrition and food security. Increased movement of goods has changed consumption patterns and increased dependance on cheap and poor quality imported food items and have eroded traditional food production systems. Healthy diets and household food security need to be addressed by maintaining and encouraging the development of improved techniques for the provision of quality food for domestic consumption, and promoting healthy life-styles.
16. Population. The total population in the Pacific of nearly 6.3 million will double in 30 years time if the current growth rate of 2.3% continues. Population growth increases demand for goods, services, and employment, and intensifies pressure on the narrow natural resource base. The high mobility of people results in a continuous brain-drain from local agencies and organizations and decreases the ratio of active work force in rural areas. It does, however, contribute to financial flows such as remittances.
17. Women. Melanesian women bear the major responsibility for food production, and provide a significant amount of labour in commercial agriculture. In Polynesian and Micronesian countries, they are key contributors in both production and marketing of agricultural commodities. Their needs for increased access to productive resources, improved productivity and added value is increasingly obvious and should be addressed.
18. Economic performance and diversification of the economy. During the last decade and especially the last few years, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was often outpaced by population growth, and several countries showed almost no rise in average real per caput incomes. For sustained growth and fair distribution of benefits, there is need to diversify the economy and the actors, whereby public sector strives for policy reforms targeting efficiency of public administrations and services, and promoting private sector involvement for dynamic economic activities. It is highlighted that firm commitment to sustainable development is an essential pre-requisite to any action. The economy could also benefit from moving subsistence agriculture (representing 50-85% of agriculture) towards semi-intensive production systems targeted to small-scale commercialization.
19. Public Sector Reforms. A reduced relative size of the public sector and adoption of improved labour productivity would remove much of the present bureaucratic blocks. Although the public sector would gradually withdraw from certain functions, it needs to review its role and priorities and allocate the necessary resources to the sustainable development of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, which are the basis of Pacific Islands economy and food security. More specifically, public sector should focus on reviewing fiscal and monetary policies, strengthening quarantine facilities and services and enforcing phytosanitary requirements, improving infrastructure related to agro-processing and transportation, facilitating access to credit and saving facilities, stimulating the private sector, and coordinating approaches and interventions, both within and between ministries, to make the best use of human and financial resources, and provide coherent advice to farmers and fishers.
20. Strengthening the private sector. Strong private sector development would significantly improve competitiveness, especially of export-oriented agricultural commodities. Improved means and access to markets and marketing information, improved distribution systems, and incentives for the commercialization of small-scale production would stimulate the spirit of entrepreneurship.
21. Sustainable natural resource management. Sustainable management of natural resources, in agriculture, implies adopting a farming systems approach. In forestry and fisheries, it implies adopting an ecosystem approach towards harvesting practices, which must be environmentally sound and socially beneficial. Community-based management systems and related land and fishing rights in supporting food systems are of key importance and should be considered as an asset to build upon. For policy resources outside jurisdiction of coastal states, early implementation of relevant, regional and international agreements are encouraged. Investments for alternative technologies and improved knowledge of natural systems (e.g. soil, water, nutrients, pests, biodiversity) imply a mobilization of resources and commitment, from policy makers, government officials, private sector and farmers/fishers. Namely, the role of the government in drawing-up legislation to protect indigenous ownership rights to plant and animal genetic resources from foreign misappropriation and enforcement of sustainable practices to protect soil, water and the environment, and to preserve biodiversity is of key importance. Natural resources are often inappropriately used due to divergent advice from several sources. A better coordination and harmonization of information and technology could substantially improve farming, harvesting, and regeneration practices. Improved access to productive resources, investments in management capacity, and ownership of problems and solutions are also key elements in sustainable natural resource use. National Environmental Management Strategies (NEMS) are being implemented by most Pacific island countries. Activities related to sustainable use of natural resources by the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector should be implemented in harmony with NEMS principles.
22. Markets and marketing systems. A market-driven approach, based on local and foreign market opportunities should be identified before deciding on the type of production and processing activities to be developed and/or strengthened. Both producer and consumer preferences should be guided by information on prices (and medium-term trends), quality of products (packaging, nutritional content, labelling and phytosanitary requirements), and frequency/regularity of supply (namely for fresh produce or raw materials) required by a specific market. This would substantially redress the present failure to exploit local (e.g. tourism sector) and global niche-markets. Local investors and farmer cooperatives should be encouraged in creating their own marketing and processing channels and mechanisms. This could be facilitated by initial involvement of public sector. Partnerships between governments, the private sector, farmers/fishers and marketers also need to be built. A careful assessment of the benefits and costs to be derived from the World Trade Organization principles, should be made before adopting the WTO mechanism.
23. Production, post-harvest handling and processing. Social, cultural, environmental and economic values should be considered when choices are made. Although the maintenance and upgrading of traditional food crops (such as aroids) should remain the first priority for national food security and health, alternatives should be explored for diversifying export crops for specific niche-markets. Access to planting material and germplasm inventory are needed to conserve and use indigenous biodiversity. Natural resource capacity, alternative systems of production and agricultural inputs, harvesting methods and/or practices, and preparedness for disasters (both natural and man-induced) are elements to evaluate before setting production targets and assessing expected financial and economic benefits. Post-harvest handling and agro-processing could be improved only if information is made available on appropriate technologies, including use of by-products and value-added techniques. The scale of production, locality, level of skills, and capital available will determine the quality and quantity of production. Production, post-harvest handling and marketing need to be considered as a whole.
24. Institutional strengthening and capacity-building. Public awareness, education and training are weak and training often insufficient for Pacific islands to act upon their needs. Education and extension strategies are needed on population, health, nutrition and environmental issues. Approaches to research and extension should be based on prioritized needs, availability of facilities and resources, and most importantly, active involvement of farmers/fishers from conceptualization to planning and implementation. The activities and resources of Government, non-government, regional, donor, private and other agencies, need to be better coordinated to optimize their application and effectiveness. In addition, continuity of funding should be ensured to facilitate targeted localization of programmes.
25. Legislative measures. Develop new and streamline existing legislation with respect to quarantine, environment, certification, disaster management and intellectual property rights where regulatory measures provide appropriate support for policy reforms and their implementation.
26. Involvement of natural resource owners. Promote clearer identification of traditional resource use/ownership regimes, ensuring that traditional resource owners are fully involved in decisions concerning the use of these natural resources by non-traditional owners, and that fair and just compensation is paid for access to, and use of, natural resources by non-traditional owners. Efforts to facilitate the greater involvement of resource owners and users in policy decisions concerning the sustainable use of natural resources and in the utilization and management of those resources should be pursued.
27. Integrated sectoral planning and coordination. Establish clear national priorities for agriculture, forestry and fisheries. As a pre-requisite for the development and implementation of effective plans of action at all levels. This will require: the formulation of a clear long-term vision by leaders reflecting the aspirations of the people; the formulation of short-medium term national strategies (within clearly achievable objectives) for the realization of the long-term vision; the formulation of integrated sectoral strategies or plans for agriculture, forestry and fisheries as a means of operationalizing the overall national strategy; the strengthening of mechanisms for coordinating the implementation and monitoring of sector strategies and plans, and ensuring the maintenance of environmental and ecological functions and integrity in the above processes.
28. Public sector reforms and privatization. Investigate and facilitate public sector reforms with respect to agriculture, forestry and fisheries and encourage privatization where appropriate and necessary (e.g. marketing of agricultural produce).
29. Gender and environment issues. Ensure that gender and environment issues are considered fully in all aspects of development and management in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Initiatives should be put in place to ensure that gender and environment considerations are incorporated into all mainstream planning activities within PICs.
30. Economic cooperation and trade. Encourage "smart partnerships" between the public and private sectors for trade promotion and development, including the increased focus on the provision of trade promotion activities by overseas missions.
31. Public sector issues. Facilitate the development of human resources and institutional capacity so as to sustain the long-term independent development of PICs. This requires measures to empower people to be self-reliant, to encourage greater individual and community awareness of national issues and to enhance the ability of people to make inputs into the planning and execution of activities under national development programmes and to encourage the realistic assessment of the extent to which traditional practices can be incorporated, improved and transmitted from one generation to the next. National action is required: to provide formal and non-formal training in issues and areas relating to individual, national and regional needs; the strengthening of vocational training especially for young people to build up their technical and managerial skills; the encouragement of continued education and training at all levels in the public sector; the clearer delineation of roles responsibilities and linkages within the government sector; appropriate and clear job descriptions of all persons employed in the public sector, the strengthening of professional development and research in the public sector and continued efforts to strengthen capacity of public administrators and management in the planning, execution and monitoring of all activities related to agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
32. Marketing issues. Increase numbers of skilled personnel in areas such as quarantine, post-harvest handling, quality control, marketing and business management through the improved training in areas related to quarantine, post-harvest handling, quality control and business management, consistent training in recent marketing technologies; the provision of business training to facilitate the development of entrepreneurial skills and to build competence in marketing; seeking opportunities to broaden the national export base; improved use and access to marketing databases; support to private sector development and the provision of appropriate marketing infrastructure.
33. Environmental issues. Develop and enhance national expertise in environmental assessment is fundamental to achieving sustainable management of natural resources. Action to provide training in all areas related to the environmental costs and benefits of agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices, resource conservation and management and human ecology is required; education and training in ways and means of rehabilitating natural resources should be encouraged and the monitoring, evaluation and documentation of traditional practices with respect to natural resource use should be undertaken.
34. Gender issues. Promote gender considerations within national administrations as a fundamental part of conservation and management of natural resources in PICs and in view of the key roles played by women in the agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors. This should include the provision of training relating to the role of women in development, conservation, nutrition, health, food preparation and consumer awareness. More broadly, administrations and women must be encouraged to continue education at all levels.
35. Production systems development and research. Encourage the active establishment of "smart partnerships" between the public and private sectors to determine priorities on integrated production, processing and marketing systems, and facilitate the adoption of an integrated approach to land-use planning and development. Research and extension must also be strengthened.
36. Information systems for effective decision making regarding natural resources and market opportunities. Improve the application and dissemination of information in support of effective decision making concerning the use and management of natural resources and market opportunities. This will require the identification, assessment and integration of existing information systems and the use of appropriate information technology for the storing, processing, retrieval and dissemination of information. Indigenous knowledge and practices, in particular, should be evaluated, documented and disseminated.
37. Resilient and improved production and harvesting practices. Develop sustainable and improved production and harvesting practices. This would include activities such as the valuation of non-timber forests or tree products (e.g. medicinal plants, nuts and fruits) and functions (e.g. water quality and flow and soil conservation), the development and implementation of a Code of Practice for the harvesting, use and management of natural resources, and the provision of appropriate and adequate training and extension services.
38. Animal and plant protection and quarantine services. Strengthen animal and plant protection and quarantine services through activities such as the assessment and strengthening of national legislation, facilities and services (including surveillance), provision of appropriate training, improvement and integration of national databases, and enhancement of public awareness concerning the importance of quarantine services (and potential consequences of lack of non-compliance).
39. Ecosystem and germplasm conservation and use. Enhance ecosystem and germplasm (including traditional cultivars) conservation and use to strengthen production and biological systems through inventories and assessments of resource bases and their evaluation and prioritization.
40. Infrastructure for production, processing and marketing. Enhance the economic viability of trade and business opportunities through the identification of priorities and needs, the development of appropriate mechanisms to reduce and minimize costs, and the establishment of effective networks of activities from production to harvesting, post-harvest handling, processing, transportation, merchandising and marketing.
41. Adoption of integrated planning processes. Adopt integrated planning processes across and within sectors to ensure that natural resources are utilized in a sustainable manner and that they make the maximum contribution to national, social and economic development. Encourage strategic and operational planning and results management to ensure that targets are met. This process should involve appropriate government ministries as well as all other stakeholders.
42. Economic cooperation and trade. Facilitate the development of a regional strategy in response to international trade reforms, for future participation in World Trade Organization (WTO) activities. There should also be a focus on research to clearly identify the comparative advantage of PICs in international markets for non-sugar crops. Efforts to explore the scope for regional cooperation in enhancing trade (such as improving the public information base and joint approaches to trade negotiations) and access to transportation and foreign markets should be initiated.
43. Legislative measures. On the basis on national studies, formulate regional operational guidelines for new and streamlined legislation focusing on key areas including quarantine, environment, certification, disaster management and intellectual property rights. Continue and strengthen regional cooperation for the establishment of appropriate standards for food exports and imports.
44. Involvement of natural resource owners. Disseminate information, within existing resources and work programmes, concerning national experiences in natural resource negotiations with non-traditional resource owners. Registers of pertinent details of these negotiations should be established, or continue to be maintained, by the appropriate regional agencies. The promotion of national case studies for dissemination within the region concerning experiences with community based approaches to natural resource policy development and management should be encouraged. In addition, the implementation of regional agreements for offshore fisheries resources should be facilitated.
45. Integrated sectoral planning and coordination. Promote and encourage action through appropriate regional meetings (e.g. annual meetings of the Finance Ministers and the annual meeting of Forum Leaders) to facilitate integrated sectoral planning and coordination and for regional agencies to provide appropriate technical assistance to PICs to formulate and implement such planning and coordination.
46. Public sector issues. Assist national administrations review procedures concerning human resource development needs and to assess and identify infrastructural requirements for training and capacity-building at both the national and regional levels.
47. Marketing issues. Support by the Forum Secretariat, the South Pacific Commission, the Forum Fisheries Agency and the University of the South Pacific of national activities is required in a number of areas including training, the acquisition of market intelligence, the assessment of national needs, the dissemination of market information and the conduct of research for ways and means of improving exports to ensure that international standards are met.
48. Environmental issues. Provide technical assistance through the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, and where appropriate, the South Pacific Commission, the Forum Fisheries Agency and the University of the South Pacific to assist PICs meet training needs in conservation and management of natural resources in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, including rehabilitation of those resources, the execution of resource assessments and the monitoring of rates of utilization of natural resources is needed. These activities must be well coordinated.
49. Gender issues. Provide technical assistance through the South Pacific Commission and other regional agencies as appropriate, to recognize and strengthen the essential roles by women in natural resource conservation, management and use in PICs.
50. Production systems development and research. Facilitate the active establishment of "smart partnerships" between the public and private sectors in relevant countries. The Forum Secretariat should lead this initiative with assistance from other relevant regional agencies, and also provide assistance for the strengthening of national research and extension requirements.
51. Information systems for effective decision making regarding natural resources and market opportunities. Facilitate the coordination, integration and application of regional and national information systems for effective decision making regarding natural resources and market opportunities. The South Pacific Commission, the Forum Fisheries Agency and the University of the South Pacific should lead this initiative.
52. Resilient and improved production and harvesting practices. Support national initiatives with respect to the development of sustainable practices for resilient and improved production and harvesting practices. The facilitation of regional cooperation is an essential component.
53. Animal and plant protection and quarantine services. Provide technical assistance, primarily through on-going South Pacific Commission and the University of the South Pacific activities, to PICs in the areas of enhancement of legislation, surveillance, training, database development and the integration of animal and plant protection services and quarantine.
54. Ecosystem and germplasm conservation and use. Ensure effective coordination between the South Pacific Commission, the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, the University of the South Pacific and other relevant programmes or initiatives on measures to enhance and strengthen ecosystem and germplasm conservation and use.
55. Infrastructure for production, processing and marketing. Develop technical assistance programmes, primarily through the South Pacific Commission, the South Pacific Forum and the Forum Fisheries Agency, on appropriate infrastructure for production, processing and marketing of agriculture, forestry and fishery products to enhance economic viability of trade and business opportunities.
56. Economic cooperation and trade. Although trade issues are already being addressed as a major priority area of assistance, advisory services are needed to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of, and regional mechanisms for, membership in the World Trade Organization and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.
57. Involvement of natural resource owners. Provide appropriate technical support to enable PICs to implement international agreements for offshore fisheries.
58. Public sector issues. Provide appropriate technical assistance to review human resource needs and to provide advice on ways and means of strengthening national capacity should be provided.
59. Marketing issues. Regional support by FAO of activities is required for training, the acquisition of market intelligence, the assessment of national needs, the dissemination of international market information and advice concerning quarantine to ensure that international standards for exports from the region are met.
60. Environmental issues. FAO, in collaboration with other appropriate agencies should be encouraged to assist in the provision of technical assistance for relevant areas of natural resource conservation and environmental management.
61. Gender issues. International organizations should continue to support the strengthening of the role of women in development. Technical assistance and training are primary vehicles for this work.
62. Production systems development and research. FAO, in consultation with appropriate regional agencies and non-governmental organizations should assist as required in the further development and research of appropriate production systems, including research and extension requirements.
63. Information systems for effective decision making regarding natural resources and market opportunities. Technical assistance in support of information systems for effective decision making regarding natural resources and market opportunities should be provided by FAO and other appropriate agencies.
64. Resilient and improved production and harvesting practices. FAO, UNDP and other appropriate agencies should support national and regional initiatives concerning resilient and improved production and harvesting practices.
65. Animal and plant protection and quarantine services. Importing countries should be encouraged to provide assistance to PICs to upgrade facilities and to strengthen animal and plant protection and quarantine services to ensure that international standards are met.
66. Ecosystem and germplasm conservation and use. FAO, UNDP and other appropriate agencies should support regional initiatives to enhance and strengthen ecosystem and germplasm conservation and use.
67. Infrastructure for production, processing and marketing. FAO, UNDP and other appropriate agencies should assist in the development of appropriate infrastructure for production, processing and marketing of agriculture, forestry and fishery products as a means of enhancing economic viability of trade and business opportunities. FAO, UNDP and other appropriate agencies should support the development, continuation or strengthening of mechanisms to enhance the coordination of national, regional and other activities and resources in the sustainable use and management of agriculture, forestry and fisheries resources.
68. Legislative measures. Legislate new and strengthen present laws, where necessary, in key areas such as quarantine, environment, certification, disaster management and intellectual property rights in order to support policy reforms in sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries. This would require a two- phased approach including technical systems to be provided by donors to assist PICs implement the above legislative requirements and a study to extract findings in order to formulate regional operational guidelines. Action to advise on appropriate regional standards for agricultural, forestry and fisheries exports and imports should be facilitated. In particular the Food Testing Programme being carried out by the Institute of Applied Sciences in Fiji to establish standards and to test new products should be continued and strengthened.
69. Integrated sectoral planning and coordination. Formulate integrated sectoral strategies and plans in agriculture, forestry and fisheries where there is a clear national vision statement and development strategy and improve mechanisms for regional coordination.
70. Economic cooperation and trade. Initiate action, through on-going work of the South Pacific Forum and the South Pacific Commission, to determine the regional benefits from greater participation in regional and international agencies and mechanisms such as WTO and APEC as appropriate participatory mechanisms; within work being undertaken by the South Pacific Forum and the South Pacific Commission, establish appropriate regional and strategic responses to the Uruguay Round Agreement with respect to agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and particularly in regard to the potential loss of preferential arrangements and the cost of food imports; commission technical assistance involving appropriate regional research organizations to assess regional comparative advantage in non-sugar crops and products, and policy adjustments to align private incentives with comparative advantages; commission a study to determine market information currently available (e.g. trade directories) to prioritize additions to that information base and to ensure that this information is effectively disseminated to PICs, and seek to define specific activities for trade-enhancing cooperation between public agencies and the private sector and to assess the expected public and private benefits of such activities, and appropriate resourcing arrangements.
71. Involvement of resource owners. PICs have a wealth of experience in traditional resource management practice. FAO, Unesco, South Pacific Commission, South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, and the University of the South Pacific should be encouraged to strengthen activities relating to traditional practice in agriculture, forestry, coastal fisheries and sustainable resource management, and facilitate national case studies for dissemination to PICs.
72. Public sector issues. The development of individual, national and regional capacity is required to sustain the long-term development of PICs and to ensure that their natural resources are utilized sustainably. The provision of scholarships under bilateral and multilateral programmes of assistance for study at regional and international institutions is required.
73. Marketing issues. The development of human capacity in all areas of marketing, post-harvest handling, processing, quarantine, quality control and business management is a priority issue for PICs. Technical assistance is required from bilateral, regional and multilateral sources to strengthen capacity in these essential areas.
74. Environmental issues. PICs require technical assistance to develop human resources and to strengthen national capacities in all areas related to natural resource and environment conservation and management, resource assessment and the rehabilitation of some natural resources. Training and other forms of capacity-building is necessary to assist PICs in achieving these goals.
75. Gender issues. Initiatives to empower women to contribute fully and effectively to the overall development of natural resources, both at the national and regional levels should be encouraged.
76. Production systems development and research. National and regional consultations and coordination should be encouraged on a regular basis to enhance development and research of production systems. At the national level action to establish a land-use body to develop national land-use plans and strategies, should be taken and all stakeholders should be included as members of the body.
77. Information systems for effective decision making regarding natural resources and market opportunities. Action to enhance decision making, improve structures and provide training in information systems for effective decision making regarding natural resources and market opportunities should be implemented. The information/communication capacity currently provided through the Pacific Sustainable Development Networking Programme (PSDNP) should be supported beyond 1996.
78. Resilient and improved production and harvesting practices. Assistance should be provided for the valuation of non-tangible products and functions of forests and trees and the development and implementation of Codes of Practice, and to provide appropriate training and extension at the national level.
79. Animal and plant protection and quarantine services. Technical assistance should be provided to assess and revise, if needed, national legislation, implement appropriate training and enhance database development.
80. Ecosystem and germplasm conservation and use. Support for the establishment of national inventories and assessment of resource bases for ecosystem and germplasm conservation and use should be provided along with the identification of prioritized needs and potential applications and enhanced regional cooperation.
81. Infrastructure for production, processing and marketing. Technical assistance to assess and prioritize needs for appropriate infrastructure for production, processing and marketing of agriculture, forestry and fishery products is required, including the assessment of ways and means to reduce costs and to strengthen networks of activities ranging from production to harvesting, post-harvest handling, transportation, merchandising and marketing. In this connection the private sector should be encouraged to participate in the development of appropriate systems. The continuation of a regional coordinating mechanism for the forestry sector, currently provided by the South Pacific Forestry Development Programme should continue beyond 1996. The regional coordinating mechanisms in the agriculture and fishery sectors should also be strengthened.
82. Adoption of integrated planning processes. Technical assistance to enable PICs to adopt and implement appropriate integrated planning processes for natural resources should be facilitated as a means of ensuring sustainable use.
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