Friday, April 19, 2013

Rest in peace Tui Macuata

From FBC radio

The Tui Macuata – Ratu Aisea Katonivere has passed away. Ratu Aisea was on a fishing trip yesterday with two others when his boat started taking in water and capsized. FBC News this afternoon spoke to Ratu Peni Vulaca – one of the survivors from the incident. Still emotional from the ordeal, Ratu Peni described how he and the Tui Macuata started swimming to shore after the boat capsized. Ratu Peni says he tried to help Ratu Aisea for as long as he could. Naduri villager, William Foster who was part of the rescue team says the people of Naduri and the whole of Macuata are still in shock. 
Ratu Aisea’s body has been taken to the Labasa Hospital while traditional leaders are meeting to decide the funeral arrangements.
Ratu Aisea Katonivere is a Fijian chief and politician from the northern Province of Macuata, where he is the Paramount Chief and Chairman of the Provincial Council. He holds the title of Caumatalevu na Turaga na Tui Macuata, which is usually abbreviated to Tui Macuata. Since June 2006, he has also represented his province in the Senate as one of fourteen nominees of the Great Council of Chiefs. In the parliamentary election of 2001, he contested the Macuata Fijian Communal Constituency for the United Fiji Party (SDL), but was defeated by Isireli Leweniqila of the Conservative Alliance (CAMV). On 23 February 2006, he announced his candidacy for the Presidency or Vice-Presidency. When Great Council of Chiefs met on 8 March, however, it reelected Ratu Josefa Iloilo as President and Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi as Vice-President.
A BIOPAMA champion in the Pacific
08 March 2013 | News story
A tireless champion of conservation in his province in Northern Fiji, Ratu Aisea Katonivere, brings political experience, leadership, local knowledge, and successful community engagement to BIOPAMA efforts in the Pacific region.
Mr. Katonivere hails from the village of Naduri in Macuata Province, where he is the Paramount Chief and Chairman of the Provincial Council. He holds the title of Tui Macuata. His ‘kingdom’ is made up of 110,000 people living in 117 coastal and inland villages and includes the Great Sea Reef, an area of 78,242 square miles that is the world’s third largest barrier reef. In the early 2000’s he joined with four other chiefs to establish the 32-square mile Macuata Marine Protected Area Network, which has been widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful models for marine protected areas. In 2006, he won the Global Ocean Conservation Award. 

Tui Macuata attributes his conservation success in part to capacity building, the key component of BIOPAMA. “It is important to embrace scientific knowledge and harmonize it with traditional knowledge,” said Tui Macuata, when attending the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea last year. “Capacity building works when the society – the communities – are involved from day one.”

In addition to attending the BIOPAMA event at the Global Protected Areas Programme’s Protected Planet Pavilion during the World Conservation Congress, Tui Macuata actively participated in the recent BIOPAMA Pacific workshop, providing valuable input and guiding efforts on networking and appropriate forms of capacity building for the region. Fiji’s locally managed marine area (LMMA) sites are under consideration for BIOPAMA programme engagement, and Tui Macuata will be an invaluable ally in this partnership.

More than 80 percent of protected areas in the Pacific are community managed. “We put the community first, we put the community second, and we put the community at the end,” concluded Tui Macuata in Jeju. “When the community is left out the project doesn’t work. With community participation and capacity building, we were able to embrace the new management regimes that were brought in by the various NGOs that are now working hand in hand with us. We can now sustain our marine protected areas for the future.” This insight, and Tui Macuata’s success to date, will provide valuable lessons that will enable BIOPAMA to build a solid foundation for improving protected area management and local livelihoods in the Pacific.

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