Nature+ people & governance: Can conservation tackle poverty?

H.E. Colonel Samuela Saumatua

Colonel Samuela A. Saumatua is Fiji’s Minister for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment, and has held the position since 2009.

Prior to joining the Fiji Government, he had been appointed to the Board of Directors for the Housing Authority of Fiji and the Public Rental Board where he served as the Chairman.

Colonel Saumatua spent the first 30 years of his career with the Royal Fiji Military Forces (RFMF), initially as a Private soldier and later rising through the ranks. He eventually retired in 2008 from his post as the Chief of Staff.

He has vast Military experience and has also served abroad, in senior capacities with the UN and other non-UN Peace Operations.
He attended the École de Etage Major, the French Military Staff College and holds a Postgraduate Degree from Massey University in New Zealand.
Colonel Saumatua has a passion for, and a commitment to environment issues, and is strongly supportive of his Ministry’s work on poverty alleviation particularly in relation to housing. Only recently, he was instrumental in introducing an integrated work approach to the Departments under his Ministry.

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