Vuaki community replant to help protect coastline
This is the harsh reality that 39 year old Vuaki villager, Vilikesa Nacaucauceva and his community from the district of Nacula in the Yasawas are facing. Coastal erosion caused by the rising sea levels is slowly affecting the coastline of Vuaki village.
WWF-Pacific through its Pacific American Climate Fund project of Strengthening Governance and Building Resiliency of Communities which is funded by USAID carried out tree planting exercise with the community along 300 metres of the village’s coastline.
The planting initiative is one of many rehabilitation efforts,WWF-Pacific has been carrying out with communities in the district of Nacula and its seven villages.
Close to 80 trees species of Vesi (Instia bijuga), Sikeci (Aleurites moluccanus), Dilo (Calophyllum vitiensis) and Moli (Citrus) were planted . The trees were recommended and provided by the Ministry of Forestry and the National Trust of Fiji.
For the Vuaki community, the planting initiative was highly appreciated.
“The planting today is a good move, by the time the trees establish themselves, they should be able to rehabilitate and protect our coastline from the impacts of climate change.”
“We are doing this as in a way to not only protect our environment but the community as well,” said Nacaucauceva.
For 64 year old Vanasio Lasa, the impacts of climate change have severely impacted Vuaki’s nearby landscape as well, something he has seen and experienced over the years.
“More than fifty years I have been staying here, the mangroves where I stay, around 20 metres of it has been taken away by the sea.
“Also, we use to walk across to the nearby island, 20 years ago,now there is a passage of sea that separates the islands and when it is high tide we cannot walk across,” Lasa revealed.
“Occasionally it would be a high tide twice or three times in a month compared to previous years.” “We plan to have more coconut trees planted since most of them were destroyed by previous cyclones such as Bebe and Winston.”
“It’s a good thing, we were looking for something to be planted here, previously there were all coconuts here and we are happy with what we have done, we would need to plant some more trees,” added 60 year old Emosi Ravato of Vuaki village.
WWF-Pacific climate change officer, Dr. Rusila Savou highlighted the planting initiative at Vuaki village was also part of WWF-Pacific’s contribution to the Fiji National Climate Week Carbon Fasting objective of uniting, educating and mobilizing Fijians to reduce Fiji’s national carbon footprint through one week of carbon fasting.