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Awareness To Protect Mangrove Stocks

Awareness To Protect Mangrove Stocks
Ministry of Local Government, Housing and Environment permanent secretary Joshua Wycliffe (seated fourth from left) with members and participants of Global Mangrove Alliance at My Suva Picnic Park in Suva on July 26, 2018. Photo: Swashna Chand
July 30
11:00 2018

The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Local Govern­ment, Housing and Environ­ment, Joshua Wycliffe, says there is a need to conserve and protect mangrove stocks.

He said the ministry is conduct­ing awareness campaigns to ensure mangrove stocks are replenished and increased.

Mr Wycliffe spoke at the second anniversary of the Global Man­grove Alliance partnership in Fiji and the celebration of World Man­groves Day at My Suva Picnic Park on Thursday.

The programme was a way of raising awareness on proper ways of replanting mangroves, which serve as a transition between ma­rine and terrestrial environments.

It was followed by planting man­grove seedlings.

Mr Wycliffe said mangroves pro­vided critical protection from the impacts of climate change, includ­ing absorbing wave energy and storm surges, adapting to rising sea levels and stabilising shorelines from erosion.

“There are lot of micro-organisms which grow around the mangroves, also mangroves are traditionally used for construction, herbal medi­cines, firewood and for gathering of crabs and fish,” he said.

“There are two things we would like to do. That is protect what we already have and secondly to im­prove and ensure mangroves thrive around our costal lines.

“A mangrove tree takes a good six to eight years before it grows. Once it grows then full benefits are real­ised.”

Fiji’s mangrove area is approxi­mately 42,600 hectares of mangrove forest with largest swathes found in Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.

The Global Mangrove Alliance (GMA) is a global partnership be­tween by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Con­servation International (CI), The National Conservancy (TNC) and Wetlands International.

The aim of the partnership is to reverse the alarming and ongoing loss of critical important habitats and push for commitments for in­ternational to local scales to halt and reverse mangrove loss globally.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: swashna.chand@fijisun.com.fj

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