Gabriel C. M. Laeis

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Early on in his life, Gabriel developed a keen interest in cooking, gastronomy and food. He went on to work for a number of small restaurants, hotel chains and hospitality management consultancies. After undergraduate studies in hospitality management at IUBH, agriculture and sustainable development became his prime interest. For his MSc thesis in Organic Agriculture and Food Systems at the University of Hohenheim, he conducted a research project on hotel-agriculture linkages in South Africa.

This experience set the foundation for his current PhD project at Massey University on the role of cuisine in tourism-agriculture linkages in Fiji. The 2030 Agenda and its SDGs have a special meaning for Fiji, as the country presided over COP23 in 2017. This emphasised the importance many sustainable development issues have for small island development states. Gabriel’s current research addresses how local agriculture can be linked better to the Fijian tourism industry, addressing a range of SDGs. In his research he is regularly reminded how difficult it is to reconcile the different SDGs. For instance, how can Fijians safeguard life on land and below water (SDG14 & SDG15) and consume responsibly (SDG12), yet grow their economy (SDG8)?

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