For our future generation

ON Easter Monday (April 2, 2018) while many Christians were celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, youths of the vanua o Navukavu were out cleaning the roadside and planting mangroves along the beach.

An initiative born out of the Rewa Provincial Council Yaubula Workshop through the United Nations Development Program Ridge to Reef project, the massive clean-up campaign saw about 150 bags of rubbish collected along the road from Muaivuso Village to Waiqanake Village.

In addition to this Ministry of Fisheries staff member Jolame Sikolia said the youths also planted more than 2600 mangrove plants along the shores of Namakala, Waiqanake, Nabaka and Muaivuso villages.

“This is one of the heavily polluted fishing grounds in the country with nearly all the waste coming out of the Suva Harbour ends up along these shores.

“So what the youths have done is a way to try and saving what is left of their fishing ground for the future generation.”

Having had a marine protected area for nearly 20 years, the youth of Navakavu hope that planting mangroves will not only protect their shoreline from coastal erosion but also bring back the riches their traditional fishing ground was once known for.

“There was a Rewa Provincial Yaubula Management Support Team Workshop which was held at Nukui Village, Rewa.

“One of the objectives of the workshop was to formulate a Rewa Provincial Natural Resources Management Plan.

“There were few issues raised by participants which are most common in the Rewa Province and two of these are mangrove destruction and poor waste management.

“We believe the outcome from the Rewa Provincial Yaubula Workshop has inspired participants to share them at the tikina and village levels, and one of the examples was the contribution done by the youths of the vanua of Navukavu.

“The youths of Navukavu were very supportive as they conducted the clean-up campaign and mangrove planting during the Easter Holiday,” said Raijeli Kolinisau, the Rewa Pronvincial Council conservation officer

Mr Sikolia added they were grateful to the support from the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Fisheries, Rewa Provincial Council and the Bank South Pacific.

“Many of the rubbish collected were plastic bottles and plastic bags and we are urging members of the vanua and the public to take pride in their surrounding and not litter it.

“We are grateful to the turaga na Rokobaleni, who at such an elderly age, joined the youths during the clean-up campaign and also planting mangroves.

“This is also in line with the country’s celebration of the International Year of the Reef,” he said.

“The Fiji Ridge to Reef Project aims to preserve biodiversity, ecosystem services, sequester carbon, improve climate resilience and sustain livelihoods through a ridge to reef management of priority water catchments on the two main islands of Fiji.

“The approach will address key environmental issues in an integrated manner. It will bolster Fiji’s national system of marine protected areas through an enhanced, representative and sustainable system of locally managed marine areas including greater protection of threatened marine species,” a statement on the UNDP website read.

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