Nacula village partake in International Mangrove Day
This morning’s mangrove activity was led by the young men of Nacula village.
“We are grateful to be part of this mangrove planting today even though we planted a small number this morning, if we continue to do more planting, it will all add up. The challenge now, is that we need to plant more mangroves and the community is ready to do that. Whatever it takes to help protect and further prevent our coastline from further erosion,” said Nacula village headman, Kemueli Naibilavou.
“It is good to see this time around that the men are taking ownership of this mangrove planting initiative because such initiative needs everyone’s participation. What we are doing today and have been doing, in 10 to 20 years’ time, our children will be benefitting from the actions we are carrying out today,” said Nacula village women’s representative, Lavenia Naivalu.
The mangrove raising seedling initiative is also one of the rehabilitation efforts; WWF-Pacific has and continues to undertake with communities in the district of Nacula over the next three years through its ‘Living with Change: Resilient Mangroves, Fisheries and People of Fiji and PNG’ project that is funded by the German Government.
“The mangrove nursery set up is aimed to encourage sedimentation along the coastline to mitigate the issue of coastal erosion and once these mangroves become well established, it will provide a lot of ecosystem services to the community,” said WWF-Pacific’s IKU Project Climate Change Officer, Dr. Rusila Savou-Wara.
Nacula village’s mangrove nursery, which lies on a certain section of the village’s eroding coastline, has now over 1,000 mangrove seedlings.
“It is encouraging to see that the mangrove seedlings that we raised a few months ago are growing well. If we continue planting mangroves, in years to come, we will have enough mangroves that will not only protect our coastline but bring back the fish and marine life that thrive in mangroves,” highlighted Nacula villager, Lavenia Naivalu.
Through the IKU Project, WWF-Pacific plans to establish 10 hectares of mangroves in the district of Nacula. The mangrove nursery set up here in Nacula village is a step in the right direction.
“Setting up mangrove plots is not an easy task but it is encouraging to see the community to take lead and add on to their nursery. It is a testimony of their commitment to bring the fish back, to bring the sand back, to bring life and security back to their families now and into the future. These community reps are definitely agents of change for the sustainable development of their communities,” added Dr. Savou-Wara.
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.