Petitioning for Mangrove Protection

Posted on 18 July 2013    
AusAID Building Resilience Coordinator Stephanie Robinson with the petition
© WWF South Pacific
A petition that campaigns for greater protection of mangrove forests in Fiji is making its rounds in the country and gathering momentum.

It appeals to all Fijians to support the setup of Mangrove Protected Priority Areas and a National Mangrove Policy.

It’s a strategy of the National Mangrove Awareness Campaign jointly launched in May this year by the Department of Environment, Department of Lands and WWF South Pacific.

As a tool, the campaign also supports a new provision inserted into the recently reviewed National Mangrove Management Plan, a draft of which is to be tabled before cabinet soon.

The Mangrove Campaign is coordinated by WWF South Pacific’s AusAID Building Resilience to Climate Change project and the Communications unit.

National Coordinator Stephanie Robinson said close to a thousand signatures have been collected so far indicating good support for the protection of mangroves.

“The petition is gaining traction and has generally been well received,” she said.

“We have taken the petition to a few public events such as the Fiji Showcase and National Environment week, to organisations and just out on the street.

“Once we explain what the petition is for, many people are more than eager to help and to sign the petition.

“In some cases, people have been so supportive of the cause that they have helped our volunteers go out on the streets in their towns to get signatures.

“People - at least those that we've met in various places - seem to care that mangroves get cut down and want better management of this resource.”

A target of 5,000 signatures is set for the petition that is expected to round up in October before it is presented to Government.


AusAID Building Resilience Coordinator Stephanie Robinson with the petition
© WWF South Pacific Enlarge
Mangrove Campaign launch day - pictured here the former Minister for Environment Colonel Saumatua with other launch attendees hold mangrove plants for planting
© WWF South Pacific Enlarge
Mangroves are a nursery for marine life and petition seeks to protect their existence because of the many ecosystem services they provide
© Jurgen Freund Enlarge

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