Mangroves Gift For All

Posted on 10 June 2013    
Fijian President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau speaks out against the indiscriminate harvesting of mangrove forests!
© WWF South Pacific
Fijian President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has strongly emphasised the need for people to remember that mangroves are a gift for all communities and like coral reefs need to be protected.

Ratu Epeli made the statement while addressing corporate bodies that work with WWF South Pacific through the Earth Hour program and staff at a morning tea hosted by WWF South Pacific recently.

He was reflecting on the harvesting of a considerable area of mangrove forests on Bau Island that was reportedly used for housing constructions and also called for investigations into the incident.

“Because these are gifts for everybody – no individual community owns it and we have to remember, the same with coral reefs, when we look after them, we do so for posterity,” he said.

As Earth Hour’s Fiji ambassador, Ratu Epeli walked 30 kilometers in 2012 to raise awareness on climate change.

The walk fulfilled his I Will If You Will challenge to Fijian organisations to publicly commit to doing something positive for the environment.

Several organisations that did rise to the challenge include ASCO Motors Fiji, now keenly financing reforestation initiatives, the Land Transport Authority with their rubbish bags on buses project, Bank of the
South Pacific that promised a green building initiative amongst others.

“It’s a great honor to be here with you, it’s all for a good cause and whatever will be in the future we will be in it together, it’s for a good cause,” he said.

WWF South Pacific Representative Kesaia Tabunakawai said the morning tea was an opportunity to update the President on the responses from various organisations to his 2012 Earth Hour challenge.

“Corporate bodies and other organisations that are leaders in their field can wield a lot of influence in shaping positive attitudes towards the environment and inspiring community participating in supporting environment initiatives,” Tabunakawai said.

“WWF South Pacific will continue to work with various organisations and tap into their sphere of influence to support the work of natural resource conservation in Fiji.”

Fijian President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau speaks out against the indiscriminate harvesting of mangrove forests!
© WWF South Pacific Enlarge
Fish find a sanctuary in the roots of this mangrove plant along the Great Sea Reef, north of Fiji
© Jurgen Freund Enlarge
Mangroves provide a home to many marine creatures!
© Jurgen Freund Enlarge
A symbiotic relationship exists between this crab and the mangrove plant - crabs feed on mangrove leaves and then recycle nutrients into the mangrove forest!
© Jurgen Freund Enlarge

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