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The Reforestation of the Degraded Foothills of the Sugar Belt (REFOREST) Project is a four-year (2014-2018) project funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC). The REFOREST Fiji project is focused on watershed management and is designed to improve livelihoods and empower people and communities through reforestation.

It is expected that the project will result in the establishment of tree plantations of various models and designs in the sugarcane belt of Viti Levu, with the Drasa, Malolo and Koronubu sugar cane sectors being priority focus areas for this support.

The EU is financing several projects in Fiji’s sugarcane belt which are being implemented by the SPC. These projects are linked to the Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol (AMSP) programme and are designed to help strengthen rural sugar-income dependent communities in response to the EU’s Sugar Price Reform and the adverse conditions in the sugar industry. It also aims to improve the livelihoods of sugarcane dependent populations, increase income and reduce poverty.

Objectives
  • The project’s overall objective is to improve the livelihoods of sugarcane dependant populations through improved watershed management in the sugarcane belt areas of Viti Levu and to generate community income through reforestation.
  • The specific objective is to reduce the social, economic and environmental vulnerability of farmers and mill workers affected by the sugar reforms, through improving the condition of cane access roads and associated infrastructure.
Target Groups and Beneficiaries
  • Farmers who still have sufficient number of years on their leases and who wish to supplement their incomes from sugarcane by planting trees on uncultivated portions of their land.
  • Landowners who have unleased land and who are prepared to use it to establish and manage production plantations on their own or under a benefit-sharing scheme.
  • Landowners who have unleased land and who are prepared to reforest degraded or damaged portions of it and to manage these in the long-term under a benefit-sharing arrangement.
  • Farmers and communities who are prepared to establish production forests on unleased state land and to manage them under a benefit- sharing arrangement.
  • Farmers and communities who are prepared to reforest portions of degraded or damaged state land and to manage them in the long-term under a benefit-sharing arrangement.