MANGROVES along the coasts and inland streams are declining despite their vital role to the communities around Fiji.
To address this challenge, the Lami Town Council in collaboration with UN-Habitat and WWF launched its Lami Ecosystem-based adaptation — mangrove replanting initiative — becoming the first council in Fiji to inaugurate a mangrove nursery at the council depot.
Minister for Local Government and Environment Colonel Samuela Saumatua, who was the chief guest at the launch, said the ministry adopted two approaches to address the challenge.
"The Lami Town Council has taken the initiative to be the first council in Fiji to have a mangrove nursery," he said.
"In this approach, they are promoting the re-planting of mangroves to use as natural barriers to storm waves and protect coastal erosion."
WWF climate change project officer rural communities Apolosa Robaigau said the initiative was to be commended because mangroves played an important part in avoiding erosion and protecting a source of food.
"When the mangroves are matured enough, they will be transplanted," Mr Robaigau said.
"They will be planted along the river banks," he said.
The council reminded residents to think before cutting down mangroves.