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Grant provided for the Invasive Alien Species project

May 16, 2018 4:39 am

The government today successfully has access to a grant of close to seven million dollars from the Global Environment Facility for the Invasive Alien Species Project.

UNDP Country Director, Bakhodir Burkhanov says this project aims to curb one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in the Pacific, the invasive alien species.

Burkhanov says the invasive alien species refers to plants, animal and micro-organisms posing negative and harmful impacts to human health and economic sectors such as agriculture, fisheries and forestry.

“They are known to establish themselves quickly and expand at the expensive of existing biodiversity, thereby jeopardizing the well being and survival of species unique to Fiji. They are often hard to identify in the environment – just think of camouflaging capabilities of the Giant Invasive Iguana.”

Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the funds provided will allow authorities to enforce the laws on this issue.

“With the assistant of GEF, Fiji has been able to access this funds and that will of course not only go to direct eradication of species such as the giant iguana, at the moment that primarily focused North East of Fiji Islands but at the same time can you imagine if we had some giant iguanas sort of swimming around in Denarau, what it would do to the tourism industry.”

The Project will help establish a National Invasive Species Framework and Action Plan, and implement measures to eradicate Giant Invasive Iguanas in Taveuni, Qamea, Matagi and Laucala, among other activities.

The signing was between the government, UNDP and Biosecurity Authority of Fiji.