Specials Environment

A Programme for Sustainable Development in the South Pacific

Posted June 1996

Summary of the Consultation

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


The Consultation defined a framework for collaborative, joint action in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and identified priority areas requiring investment support.

Policy reforms and legislative framework

  1. Participants recognized that policy reforms in the agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors require a solid legislative framework and other legal mechanisms to be in place for the effective conservation, utilization and management of natural resources at national and regional levels, in particular plant protection, environmental management, and indigenous ownership rights.
  2. The Consultation stressed the need to create mechanisms to facilitate the active involvement and participation of communities and people at local level, and called for more logical decision making, and improved institutional structure and partnerships to integrate resources owners and resource users in the collective management of natural resources.
  3. The Consultation encouraged national leadership to advocate a more holistic approach to the management of natural resources by integrating issues at the level of policy and strategy formulation, programme development and implementation and to improve mechanisms for regional coordination.
  4. The Consultation urged development partners to explore the scope for enhancing trade through regional cooperation, to accelerate the formulation of a regional strategy and mechanisms supported by an effective market information system in response to international trade reforms, particularly with regard to the potential loss of preferential arrangements, and for other policy adjustments to align private incentives with comparative advantages.

Human and institutional capacity building

  1. The Consultation urged development partners to expand commitments for long-term and short-term professional and vocational training programmes coupled with efforts to strengthen the capacity of public administrators and management in the planning, execution and monitoring of all activities related to the agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors. Identified human resource priorities include markets and marketing systems, and environmental conservation and management.
  2. The Consultation also urged national administrations to review procedures concerning human resource development needs to assess and identify infrastructural requirements for training and capacity building at both the national and regional levels.

Research, information, technologies and infrastructure requirements

  1. The Consultation encouraged the establishment of partnerships between public and private sector enterprises in determining priorities for production systems development and research, and to adopt a more integrated approach to land-use planning and land resources management.
  2. The Consultation stressed the need for improved application and dissemination of information to enhance decision making through the coordination and integration of national and regional information systems on natural resource management.
  3. The Consultation urged that more resilient production and harvesting practices be developed and introduced in the conservation and utilization of natural resources at the national and regional level.
  4. The Consultation encouraged importing countries to assist the upgrading of facilities to strengthen animal and plant protection services in line with international protocols, supported by appropriate legislation and training.
  5. The Consultation stressed the importance of regional technical cooperation in establishing national inventories and assessing natural resource bases for ecosystem and germplasm conservation and use.
  6. The Consultation called for investment in appropriate infrastructure for production, processing and marketing of agriculture, forestry and fishery products and to strengthen mechanisms to enhance coordination of national and regional natural resource management programmes, including the promotion of business opportunities and trade.
  7. Identified human resource priorities include markets and marketing systems, and environmental conservation and management.
  8. The Consultation also urged national administrations to review procedures concerning human resource development needs to assess and identify infrastructural requirements for training and capacity building at both the national and regional levels.


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