Fijian Prime minister launched mangroves management and preservation guideline, joint project with International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva, Fiji. The recorded video of that ceremony was uploaded on Fiji government’s official Facebook page.
Mangrove Project began in 2015 at six village sites in Muanaira and Narocake in Rewa and Natila, Waicoka, Naivakacau and Nasilai in Tailevu. A total of 20,200 mangroves were planted under the project on over six hectares of land. An additional 437,250 mangroves were planted outside the six project sites within the Rewa Delta. This also included the Nasese Foreshore and the Tikaram Park Foreshore in Lami covering over 137 hectares.
Mangroves play an integral role in mitigating climate change impacts on Fiji’s coastal areas by providing natural infrastructure and protection to nearby populated areas by preventing erosion and absorbing storm surge impacts during extreme weather events such as cyclones. Harvesting for fire wood and clearing of mangroves for other farming practices had been banned. Restoring prevalence of mangroves in coastal areas is a key priority to prevent the rising sea level from encroaching the terrestrial land. Tight growth of interlocking mangrove roots and branches interrupt rising water and large waves, thereby protecting people, homes, and business infrastructure from powerful storm surges, a benefit that will only grow in importance as extreme weather events continue to worsen as a result of climate change.
By VISHAL NAICKER