THE newly-reviewed Mangrove Management Plan (MMP) that will be made available mid this year will be more detailed, considering new challenges that have risen since 1986.
The current MMP was drawn up in 1986 by Dr Dick Watling for the Mangrove Management Committee, in a joint project by the Government of Fiji and the South Pacific Commission.
Neema Nand, the National Co-ordinator of the Mangrove Ecosystems for Climate Change Adaptation and Livelihood (MESCAL) Fiji Project said the plan needed to be updated to take into account new changes.
"Because it is almost three decades old, the information, the technology, the users and user interests have all changed a lot since the last plan was done," Ms Nand said.
"We now have a lot more information on mangroves and their role; the threats on mangroves and the role of economic growth have all changed.
"The impacts of sea water rise and the response of mangroves, the livelihoods from mangroves in terms of fisheries, and the rate of development have now given mangrove management new challenges that need to be addressed in the revised MMP," she explained.
Ms Nand and her MESCAL team and other relevant stakeholders from different government departments, non-government organisations and academic institutions are reviewing the MMP.
Dr Watling is the leading consultant in the committee chaired by the Department of Lands, with the Department of Environment acting as the secretariat.
"The Mangrove Management Plan is a plan on how to manage mangroves. The mangrove management plan looks at the different uses of mangroves, the distribution of mangroves, zones and maps out a plan on how the mangrove resources can be utilised and managed to maximise benefits for the stakeholders," Ms Nand said.
"The plan will undergo consultation and feedback sessions with all relevant stakeholders before it is tabled for cabinet endorsement."
She added the MMP was an important document as mangrove clearing was a worrying concern for all stakeholders and the bio- diversity.
The review is expected to be complete before the middle of next year.