Pukepuke Fonua (Caring for our Land) : Resilient Land and People

Nadi, Fiji
Nadi, Fiji

Led by the Government of Fiji with support from FAO and SPC, this year's Pacific Week will include the Meeting of Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry as well as the Regional Meeting of the Pacific Heads of Agriculture and Forestry Services on 10 March and 9 March respectively.

Side Events

The first three days of PWAF (6–10 March) will feature a series of side events designed to address key topics facing the agriculture and forestry sectors in the Pacific region: Among them are:

  • Pandemics, climate change and natural resource security,
  • Transforming agriculture and forestry through science and technology, and
  • Creating a circular green economy for agriculture and forestry.
Side Event: Pukepuke Fonua (Caring for Our Land) 
Date: Monday, 6 March 2023
Time: 11 am - 4.30 pm 


  • To improve coordination and governance on soil resource management through effective partnerships and networking amongst stakeholders and countries in the Pacific region.
  • To strengthen collaboration on soil research through joint research and capacity building across the Pacific.
  • To improve the availability and access to soil data to support soil management in the region through information systems.
  MONDAY 6 MARCH 2023  
11.00 – 11.20 Introductions MC Mr. Sione Foliaki
Opening Remarks NZ MFAT/Landcare NZ
Opening Remarks Lord Fohe, Hon. Minister MAFF Tonga
11.20 – 11.35

Session 1. Vulnerabilities of the Pacific: Case of Tonga Volcano Eruption

  • Video - setting the scene for Tonga disaster response


  • Video of event and impacts on food production
  • Initial damage of volcanic ash/tsunami damage on the Agriculture Sector




NZ MFAT/Landcare NZ


Team Tonga, Mr Sione Foliaki/SPC

Dr Viliami Manu, CEO MAFF, Tonga

11.35 – 12.05

Session 2. Response and Recovery to Natural Disasters: Tonga Case

  • MAFF Recovery Programmes (March to December 2022)


  • Benefits and Risks of Food Aids
  • Agricultural recovery on farms (cluster farm approach)




Dr Viliami Manu, CEO MAFF, Tonga


Dr Viliami Manu, CEO MAFF, Tonga

Mr Soane Patolo, CEO MORDI Tonga Trust

12.05 – 12.45

Session 3. The Role of Seeds

  • Pacific Seeds for Life – contributions


  • CePaCT/PAPGREN as Regional Public Good



Mr Sione Foliaki, PS4L Coordinator, Tonga

Ms Logotonu Waqainabete, CePaCT Manager, SPC

12.50 – 13.50 LUNCH  
13.50 – 14.10

Session 4. The Role of Soils

  • Tonga soil survey and soil laboratory upgrade



  • Sharing results of the soil analyses and short-term research activities


Mr Vunivesi Minoneti, MAFF and Mr Sione Foliaki, PS4L, Tonga

Dr Ben Macdonald and Dr Uta Stockmann, CSIRO

14.10 – 14.40

Introduction to GSP/Pacific Soils Partnerships:

  • Overview of GSP, PSP and other regional framework


Mr Peter Wilson, PSP Chair, CSIRO

14.40 – 15.10

Understanding National Soil Priorities:

  •  Tonga National Soil Strategy and Soil Research Programme


  • Atolls Soils Challenges & Priorities
  • Synthesis of national soils priorities


Dr Siosiua Halavatau, Soil Scientist, Tonga

Mr Matio Lonalona, Director MAF, Tuvalu

Dr Ellen Iramu, SPC

15.10 – 15.15 BREAK  
15.15 – 15.55


  • Unpacking country soil priorities
    • Policy
    • Research
    • Capacity development
    • Infrastructure support needs
    • Information/data
    • Other soil-related matters
    • Response and recovery post natural
  • The way forward to enable sustainable land management
    • Coordination mechanisms and linkages
    •  Resourcing needs




15.55 – 16.05 Feedback from group discussions Group Facilitators
16.05 – 16.20 Q&A and Discussions All
16.20 – 16.30 Way Forward: Upcoming Opportunities ACIAR
18.00 – 19.30 Networking  Moderator/SPC





Joint Event


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Land Resources
Land Resources