CAPTION:?Minister Saumatua and UN-Habitat’s Sera Mecartney open the Lami Town Council Nursery.
The Minister for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment Samuela Saumatua launched the Mangrove Planting Programme and opened the Nursery Extension in Suva this afternoon.
In his opening address, Minister Saumatua said that his ministry was concerned with declining mangroves along Fiji?s coastal areas and inland streams.
?To address this challenge, my ministry has adopted two approaches. First is the conservation of all existing indigenous plants particularly those vulnerable to coastal and surface flooding by rehabilitating them through enrichment planting?.
?This will ensure our primary goal of managing these mangroves for conservation of soil, water and biodiversity is not compromised by commercial enterprises,? Saumatua said.
The second approach was the one being witnessed in Lami today where the Lami Town Council took the initiative to be the first municipality to open a Mangrove nursery.
?In this approach, they are promoting the re- planting of mangrove to use as natural barriers to storm waves and protect coastal erosion,? Minister Saumatua said.
He also added that land owners must play a leading role in this process.
?I urge land owners to be the leading role in not only protecting, but also re- planting mangroves that we had lost over the years,? Saumatua adds.
Mangrove seedlings can be purchased from the Lami Town Council.