Protect our mangroves

The global theme for Earth Hour is Biodiversity. The word biodiversity describes the huge variety of life in a variety of places. There are so many different species and habitat types and they all depend on each other to live.

WWF-Pacific is focusing on Mangroves for Earth Hour 2018. Mangroves are culturally and economically important to coastal communities in Fiji.

Ecologically, mangrove forests absorb and remove carbon from the atmosphere, healthy mangrove forests contribute to healthy coral reefs.

This year being International Year of the Reef, Fijians are urged to consider and take action in the protection of mangroves in relation to the protection of reefs. Both reefs and mangroves provide natural buffers against storm surge during cyclones. In Fiji, mangroves cover three quarters of coastlines; the largest areas of mangroves are located in the southeast and northwest coasts of Viti Levu and northern coast of Viti Levu.

Today (Saturday March 24) WWF-Pacific staff and volunteers, teams from ANZ, BSP, Reserve Bank of Fiji, Fisheries Department, the Fiji Navy, Lami Town Council, International Union of the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area Network (FLMMA) will be participating in mangrove planting and clean-up campaign in Lami.

From 6am to 8am, teams will be planting mangroves in allocated areas near Tikaram Park and collecting rubbish along the Queens highway from the Tamavua-i-Wai bridge to Draunibota.

From 8:30am onwards, there will be entertainment by Apakuki Nalawa of Inside Out, the Rako dance group and a display of products made from wastepaper and plastic by the WWF-Pacific volunteers.

Many communities and corporate organisations often ask what they can do to make a difference, as Fijians small steps such planting mangroves, managing rubbish disposal and managing firewood collection go a long way.

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