Naividamu community takes pro-active approach to protect community
The goal is to transplant as many mangroves for the remainder of the year.
Non-governmental organisations, World Wide Fund for Nature – Pacific (WWF-Pacific) and Community Centred Conservation (C3), have agreed to assist the community in the replanting activities.
The dire need for the rehabilitation efforts is due to the erosions that have taken place over the last few years.
“Our old village site is now under sea water and we, the community are worried that our coastline is eroding at a very fast rate that soon, if we don’t do anything, the sea water will reach the school in the near future,” revealed Turaga-ni-Yavusa Ligualevu, Apenisa Rawaqa.
In celebration and contribution to International Day for the Conservation of Mangrove Ecosystems, that was held last month, WWF-Pacific and C3 carried out an informative session with the community on the importance of mangroves.
The information session was followed by the transplanting of 1,500 mangrove seedlings by 30 community members along with conservation officers of WWF-Pacific and C3 along a designated eroding section of the village’s coastline.
“The mangrove seedlings that were transplanted were already germinated seedlings that were collected from the nearby mangroves and these seedlings were directly transplanted. The plan now is to rehabilitate our eroding coastline throughout the remaining months of this year to protect our school and village,” highlighted Naividamu village headman (Turaga-ni-Koro), Tomasi Moli.
The mangrove transplanting initiative is one of the rehabilitation efforts; WWF-Pacific has and continues to undertake with communities in the province of Macuata.
“Mangroves are great agents against coastal erosion and once these mangroves become well established, they will be great buffer zones for the community of Naividamu and it is great to see the community themselves, taking the proactive approach of protecting their community,” said WWF-Pacific’s Macuata Field Officer, Opeti Vateitei.
WWF is part of the Global Mangrove Alliance partnership that was formed at the World Ocean Summit in 2017. The Global Mangrove Alliance is an initiative to increase mangrove habitats by 20% by 2030.
According to a wetlands report carried out in 2008, mangroves in the Pacific cover an area of around 597,000 hectares. Fiji has around 42,000 ha of mangrove forest. The Global Mangrove Alliance target of 20% restoration means Fiji has to plant an additional 8,520 ha of mangroves by 2030.