Nov 30, 2017

Traditional approach

The solution to Fiji’s problems, be it climate change, global warming or diminishing natural resources, lies in the practices of our forefathers.

Recognising this, the Pacific Blue Foundation is working towards the revitalisation of the traditional iTaukei canoe construction, food preservation and herbal medication.

Foundation local director and Totoya chief Roko Sau, Roko Josefa Cinavilakeba said the idea of the revitalisaiton of the iTaukei canoe-making was in line with encouraging a pollution-free society.

Roko Sau, Roko Josefa Cinavilakeba (right) and local director of the Pacific Blue Foundation speaks at the FLAMMA AGM recently. Picture: Luke Rawalai

Roko Josefa said in line with these ideas, Fiji would have its very first traditional iTaukei canoe that would service the outer islands from next year.

“The project of the shipping idea is headed by Okeanos Foundation, a community of international ocean navigators, scientists, cultural leaders, spiritual advisers, activists and artistes whom we are partnering with to successfully implement the idea,” he said.

“Currently, the foundation is also working with iTaukei communities to gather knowledge on the preservation of food.

“Those with this knowledge, which is fast vanishing from us, can contact us through mobile number 7272319.

“We are also focusing on the use of herbal medication to cure diseases and ailments.”

Roko Josefa said the idea behind the projects was to make Fijian communities more independent, adding this could only be achieved if the people appreciated and understood the functions of their natural resources from the mountains to the reefs.

“One thing that we believe in is that conservation is dead without the inclusion of cultures and practices,” he said.

“We, the people of the Pacific, should not be facing any problems with issues thrown at us during this century of change because we have our cultures intact to direct us to the future.

“To successfully implement this project, we are working closely with our non-governmental partners, Ministry of iTaukei Affairs and the Ministry of Fisheries.”

Article by Luke Rawalai for The Fiji Times Online, November 28, 2017