Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

WWF is helping local fishing communities in Fiji to stop the decline in their marine environment by creating community-based management systems. This is a shift away from the prevalence of damaging fishing practices (such as diving equipment, spear guns and even poison) for cash.
Community-based management system
The Fiji Islands Locally Managed Marine Areas Network (FLMMA) is a partnership based on a social contract to work together. Local communities, NGOs (including WWF-Fiji) and government agencies are members of the network.

FLMMA helps communities develop the best strategies to manage their marine resources and better manage their income-generating activities. With this help, some communities have returned to the traditional practice of reserving a fishing ground to increase fish population for a traditional ceremony.

Several villages have now declared lagoons off limits to fishing, diving and other damaging activities. Elders in the community, who have watched the changes in fishing methods, have reported an increase in fish stocks.

Partnering with the government
WWF recognizes that working with the government is key to successful protection of Fiji’s marine environment. WWF and FLMMA work with the Ministry of Fisheries to ensure management plans are in place for communities to manage their fishing grounds.

Working to protect 30% of Fijian waters by 2020
In 2003, The National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan (NBSAP) identified priority marine areas for protection. NBSAP also recommended the establishment of a representative network of MPAs in ecological and biological sites. WWF Fiji was part of the coalition of national stakeholders that produced the NBSAP.

In January 2005, the Fiji government used the NBSAP recommendations to declare a commitment to protect 30% of its waters by 2020. Once established, this would be the largest marine network in the world.

Safeguarding our natural environment is central to safeguarding our valued way of life.

WWF President, Chief Emeka Anyaoku talks to the press alongside Etika Rupeni, WWF Fiji Country ... / ©: Brent Stirton / Getty Images / WWF-UK
WWF President, Chief Emeka Anyaoku talks to the press alongside Etika Rupeni, WWF Fiji Country Programme Manager, and Sunia Waqainabete, FLMMA.
© Brent Stirton / Getty Images / WWF-UK

Our objective is to support the Pacific Islands people maintain biodiversity and fisheries productivity within priority ecoregions in partnership with stakeholders.

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