FIJI: SAND, WORTH IT'S WEIGHT IN GOLD [10-12 August 2016]
Fiji announced herself on the world stage with an emphatic gold medal win in the 7s Rugby at the 2016 Olympic games. This widely celebrated win (which coincided with Fiji's National Consultation Workshop on Development Minerals) brought smiles to the faces of all Fijians, who are still re-building in the aftermath of Cyclone Winston's devastation early in the year.
Demand for sand, gravel and marl has skyrocketed in Fiji as a result of natural disasters, such as Cyclone Winston, and a tenfold increase in road funding over the past decade, doubling the number of the nation's quarries.
The National Consultation Workshop, held between 10-12 August in Suva, gathered together around 50 key stakeholders to chart the way forward for the country-level implementation of the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme. Opening remarks made by Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa, Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources were followed by addresses by Mr. Viwanou Gnassounou, Assistant Secretary-General, ACP Group of States (by pre-recorded video); Mr. Christoph Wagner, Head of Cooperation - European Union Head of Delegation Representative; and Mr Bakhodir Burkhanov, UNDP Country Director, Fiji.