For its efforts in sustainability and conservation, the Drawa Block Forest Communities Cooperative has received an Energy Globe Award for Fiji. With more than 180 participating countries, the Energy Globe Award a prestigious environmental award given annually to projects saving our environment.
Based in Fiji, the Drawa Forest Conservation Project, with support from the Nakau Programme, addresses climate change mitigation, ecosystems-based adaptation to climate change and rural livelihoods and provides a solution to the challenge of financing long-term maintenance of protected areas. This is achieved through the safeguarding of forests by working closely with communities.
Working in partnership with Live & Learn Fiji, the Drawa project aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by changing forest management from timber extraction to forest protection. The six communities within the Drawa block (a forest region in Fiji) rely on natural resources as a source of livelihood. Forests provide a broad range of essential services for communities, including maintaining good water quality in streams, providing foods and building materials, maintaining soil moisture in dry times, and buffering communities from extreme weather events. However, the need for income generation in rural areas has driven the gradual loss of forest through logging and cash cropping. Typical approaches to forest protection often fail if they do not address the need for income generation that can replace the ‘opportunity cost’ of rejecting unsustainable developments. As part of the Nakau Programme, the Drawa project demonstrates the potential to finance forest protection and all of its associated co-benefits through production and sale of carbon credits.
Through the sale of certified carbon credits the project provides alternative income opportunities for landowners in the region that supports both community development and conservation. This is the first forest carbon project registered in Fiji and only the second in the Pacific Islands.
Learn more about the Drawa Block Forest Communities Cooperative and the Energy Globe award click here. This is the second prize the Nakau Programme has received in just under a year, after winning the Equator Prize, alongside Live & Learn Vanuatu, in 2019.