NATION

Manage Wetland To Safeguard Against Extreme Weather: Chand

  A well-managed wetland can become natural solutions to environmental, economic problems and safeguard against extreme weather events says Labasa/Savusavu Town Council special administrator, Vijay Chand. Mr Chand said floods and
10 Feb 2017 11:00
Manage Wetland To Safeguard Against Extreme Weather: Chand
Special Administrator for Labasa and Savusavu Town Council Vijay Chand the chief guest at the World Wetland Day cutting cake with the other guests and youths at Labasa Civic Centre yesterday. Photo:SUPPLIED

 

A well-managed wetland can become natural solutions to environmental, economic problems and safeguard against extreme weather events says Labasa/Savusavu Town Council special administrator, Vijay Chand.

Mr Chand said floods and hurricanes have become more prevalent in Fiji, the result of climate change caused by massive calamities which drain communities economically, physically and environmentally.

He was speaking at the World Wetland Day commemoration in Labasa yesterday.

Themed ‘Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction’, the day’s celebrationwas organised by the Department of Environment.

Mr Chand said most regarded the wetlands as wastelands.

However he does not agree with this, saying that smelling sites could be converted to a more worthy use.

“Therefore, it is critical that everyone from all walks of life is aware of the value and significance that these natural ecosystems play.”

Mr Chand said a closer look at disasters revealed they were induced by a complex mix of drivers; such as people living in dangerous places, poor governance, environment degradation, inadequate early warning and lack of preparedness by the public and the authorities were all interlinked with challenges of development.

“Vanua Levu has quite distinctive wetlands ranging from the Labasa delta mangroves which drain combined alluvial fans of three rivers, the Labasa, Qawa and Wailevu,” Mr Chand said.

“These three rivers then drain the fertile Labasa plains and adjacent foothills.”

The largest lake in Fiji, Lake Tagimocia is in Taveuni and the only significant brackish and saline lakes are Galogalo Lake, Gasauva Salt Lagoon and Lake Drano in Vanua Levu, and not forgetting the mysteries and fascinating floating island of Nubu.

“Finally, we also have the traditional kuta ponds scattered across Vanua Levu, which are part of the traditional culture and heritage of our local communities.

“The Great Sea Reef a nomination for a Ramsar site provides a great boost for sustainable livelihood for the people of this region,” Mr Chand added.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback:  shratikan@fijisun.com.fj

 

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper