Future Challanges, Ancient Solutions

The international conference, organized by the University of the South Pacific, was held from 29 November to 3 December 2010.

“Many challenges face the peoples of the Pacific Islands in the 21st century. Solutions are needed that are both effective and acknowledge the cultural context in which they will be applied. Many solutions that have been applied to the Pacific Islands have failed because they have been neither culturally sensitive nor environmentally appropriate. In this regard, it is possible that earlier generations of Pacific peoples came up with solutions to similar challenges that were successful because they were developed by key stakeholders who knew the context intimately. The conference examines several areas in which there are challenges confronting Pacific Island peoples and looks to the past to see whether solutions were developed in response to comparable challenges. The aim of the conference is to identify those ancient solutions and evaluate their efficacy. The overarching goal is to inform solutions for contemporary challenges, particularly by enhancing their cultural and environmental sustainability to the Pacific Islands context.”Office of Research and Graduate Affairs,USP

We presented the Niubasaga Nimataka project 2 as an example of sustainable small island development in Fiji. The response from the Pacific community was great.

Our presentation at the conference drew the attention of UNESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific), and on 7 December 2010, Iosefa Maiava, Head of UNESCAP’s Pacific Office, and several of his staff joined us in Niubasaga to see our project and discuss opportunities for the village to carry on this development. We felt encouraged by the visit, and the villagers became interested in many other ideas for Niubasaga.

 

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