Coastal villages in the province of Ra have begun awareness programmes as mapped out in the integrated coastal management project plan.
As part of this plan the University of the South Pacific’s Institute of applied science has roped in “land care research of NZ” for the two organisations to work hand in hand in conducting economic analysis of ecosystem services and livelihoods.
They were in the village of Nabukadra in the district of Nakorotubu.
Nabukadra village on the coast of the district of Nakorotubu in RA has been part of the restoration of ecosystem services and adaptation to climate change project.
As part of the French funded project the University of the South Pacific’s Institute of applied science with NZ counterpart Land care research organised a workshop for these villagers to help them understand the value of their ecosystems so they can better manage their resources while sustainably enabling their livelihoods.
“What we are doing today is talking about some of the intervention the RESCUE project is doing on the ground and one of them is mangroves replanting which involves a lot of awareness but also trying to build an understanding of the value that this mangroves provide to communities. But one of the thing i found intersection today is that even though they live around on the coast about 80 to 90 percent of their meals are actually sourced from mangrove area whether its crabs fish or shellfish and a lot of bait fish as well comes from mangroves,” said Suzie Greenhalgh – Land Care Research NZ.
Villagers here shared about the wide range of benefits which are an invaluable part of the ecosystem of the community they live in.
Also an area discussed was the Post Winston period and challenges faced.
“We’ve been taught to see what was lost and needed before TC Winston such as seafood and fruits that are now coming back after Winston, its a comparison of our livelihood in the pre and post Winston periods at sea and dry land as well,” said Maika Vakaciri – Village Headman.
The key part of this workshop is for these villagers to understand the importance of mangroves to the ecosystem of a coastal setting.
“We discussed and touched on the benefits of the mangroves that has brought to us particularly our livelihoods and our everyday living and this workshop has even enlightened us. The many benefits that we use to overlook before this workshop, we also briefly touched on the disadvantages but they were basically outweighed by the main benefits. I for one now respect the existence of the mangroves swamp in the village,” said Miliakere Delaiwaqa – Village Women’s Rep.
This chain of workshops is one of the many programs under RESCUE Fiji, a regional French Development Agency and French Global Environment Facility funded project.
Workshops as this in Nabukadra village aims at reducing vulnerability of villagers and ecosystems from changing climatic conditions and impacts of climate change. This workshop was coordinated by USP’s Institute of Applied Science.