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Grant for rare plant

Dawn Gibson
Thursday, July 24, 2014

FIJI is home to one of the world's rare and most unexplored conifers — the Fiji Acmopyle.

Today, there are only two known and recorded living species of this plant; one in New Caledonia and the other in certain parts of Viti Levu.

Recently, NatureFiji-MareqetiViti (NFMV) received a grant from the Save Our Species Fund to conduct further research into this plant, which is in the NFMV organisation logo.

"The Fiji Acmopyle is known from six scattered sites in the forests of Viti Levu.

"At these sites population numbers are invariably small, 10-20 or so," a report on the NFMV website stated.

"The project will work with landowners at three of the known Fiji Acmopyle sites empowering them through awareness and field training to be able to search for additional populations and monitor their known Acmopyle populations."

The life of these plants will be determined by Fijians essentially, as Fiji alone is responsible for their conservation.

"Informing the landowners of Fiji Acmopyle populations and involving them in conservation activities will engender an awareness of the importance of the plant and the high altitude water-catchment forests where Fiji Acmopyle is found, to facilitate a commitment to forest protection," the statement also detailed.

"The population at the earliest site found in 1927 has died out, another was thought to have died out but was re-found as part of this project and a third population is in an area destined for imminent copper mining."

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