EIGHT villages in the district of Sawaieke on Gau Island have banned the use of fires to clear forest land for farming.
A penalty of $100 will also been imposed on any person found breaching the ban.
The decision was made during a fire control workshop at Vadravadra Village - facilitated by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) South Pacific through its Ecosystem Based Management project for the district.
WWF bio-diversity, ecology, wildlife conservationist and fire control expert Neil Stonarch said communities played an important role in managing the issue of fire as a means of clearing land for cultivation.
"Understanding the repercussions of such actions will help build better perceptions by the communities in managing the issues of fire," Mr Stonarch, the lead facilitator at the workshop, said in a WWF statement.
The workshop was organised in response to concerns over the high incidences of fires on the island that had resulted in destruction of their forests, and impacting on the productivity of their farmland as well as their freshwater and marine ecosystems.
WWF South Pacific policy officer Alfred Ralifo said a marine biological survey conducted at Sawaieke District in Gau in 2011 showed an influx of organic nutrients from the terrestrial environment into their marine ecosystem.
Mr Ralifo said fire was identified as one of the many significant contributors to this state of pollution.
"When the land is burned for farming, the immediate effect is the loss of soil bio diversity and fertility.
"The bare land is then exposed to erosion which later affects the freshwater and marine ecosystem.
"Continuous burning will finally lead to land desertification and the land will no longer be suitable for agriculture," he said.
Through group activities, representatives from the eight villages of Sawaieke identified causes of fire in Gau such as burning to clear land for farming, accidental burning, open fire roasting and careless disposal of live cigarette butts.
Workshop participants also suggested that culprits perform community service such as planting mangroves or indigenous trees as positive reinforcement. .
Akariva Malumu, 57, from Somosomo Village said fires had been a part of islanders' lives for many decades threatening the bounty of indigenous trees and cultural aesthetics.
"We are taking measures to keep fires at a low profile through verbal messages and raising the issue with village, district and provincial councils," Mr Malumu said.
"In our old traditions and customs, we view fire as a serious offence and so we need to get back to the old ways.
"The important thing is to control the use of fire before it destroys our very own bio-diversity and livelihoods," he said.