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SUVA, Fiji Islands (December 19, 2000 - The Fiji Times/PINA Nius Online)---Government financial support is being sought to develop eco-tourism in the country.

At the end of a two-day conference in Nadi, it was resolved that government assistance is needed for national heritage park projects, such as Koroyanitu and Bouma.

Koroyanitu is in the mountains of Fiji's main island, Viti Levu, and Bouma is on the northern island of Taveuni.

The conference was organized by the Fiji Eco-Tourism Association with support from New Zealand Overseas Development Aid, Air Pacific and the Fiji Visitors Bureau.

It was attended by 100 representatives from the government, landowners, operators and tourism sectors, both locally and from abroad.

Association president Kelly Bricker said they were happy with the turn out, especially that of local residents.

Apart from focusing on local eco-tourism development, the conference was also carried out in preparation for the United Nations "Year of Eco-Tourism" two years from now.

"We believe this conference has provided the foundation from which to build and nurture eco-tourism," Dr. Bricker said.

"The enthusiasm and information shared by our guest speakers and participants clearly demonstrates overwhelming support for the development of a best practices program and strategy for the future."

For additional reports from the Fiji Times, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Fiji Times.

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