4 Dec 2013

Call for new approach to development at environment conference

3:42 pm on 4 December 2013

A conservation conference in Suva has heard a call for the Pacific to change its approach to stop the loss of natural resources, culture and traditions.

The head of the International Union for Nature Conservation, Taholo Kami, has told the Pacific Islands Conference On Nature Conservation and Protected Areas the region needs to re-think its development priorities.

He says more than gross domestic product has to be taken into account.

Mr Kami says economic growth cannot continue to sacrifice the important things, like the environment and the culture.

He says some countries, such as Vanuatu, are already taking action.

"They have put in a process where they are saying the well-being and welfare of our people is an outcome that is important. The government of Papua New Guinea - they have stepped up and said we are going to review our development strategic plan because it needs to reflect more sustainability. It needs to reflect environmental and safeguards in terms of the investment in our communities. So governments themselves are starting to see that we are on a pathway that doesn't give us a secure future."

IUCN's Taholo Kami.