NATION

Community Tackle Eroding Coastline, Battle Climate Change

Villagers on Nacula, in Yasawa, are taking the first step to battle climate change by planting more than 100 native trees and raising 600 mangrove seedlings, to help rehabilitate their
28 Apr 2017 11:00
Community Tackle  Eroding Coastline,  Battle Climate Change
Youths raising the mangrove seedlings in the nursery on village coastline in Nacula, Yasawa. Photo: WWF Pacific

Villagers on Nacula, in Yasawa, are taking the first step to battle climate change by planting more than 100 native trees and raising 600 mangrove seedlings, to help rehabilitate their eroding coastline.

Village headman, Kemueli Nabilavou said the removal of the coastal vegetation in 1997 was a contributing to the dilemma the community now faces.

He said: “However, the native trees and mangrove seedlings in due time will not only stop coastal erosion, but provide fresh air and other services.”

The initiative is part of WWF-Pacific’s Pacific American Climate Fund (PACAM) climate change project of Strengthening Governance and Building Resiliency of Communities along the Great Sea Reef.

“This is something we needed the most and we are thankful that WWF can provide this now,” he said.

WWF-Pacific’s PACAM project climate change officer Rusila Savou said the villagers had identified coastal erosion as a priority issue affecting them, and the native trees, like mangroves, were naturally suited in preventing coastal erosion in many of Fiji’s coastlines. The mangroves are expected to help in the rehabilitation of the coastline and reducing the rate of erosion.

Ms Savou said that the activity of planting coastal vegetation will be carried out with the remaining six villages in the district, encouraging communities to avoid the removal of coastal vegetation and creepers along the coastline.

“Due to the rising sea levels from climate change, this activity is of prime importance to protect coastlines, preserve coastal ecosystems, protect sources of livelihood and subsequently build up resilience of the communities to the impacts of climate change,” said Ms Savou.

Community members plant native tree species such as Sikeci (Aleurites moluccanus), Nawanawa (Cordia subcordata), Dilo (Calophyllum inophyllum) and Vesi (Instia bijuga) along Nacula’s coastline.

Last year, WWF-Pacific had identified 230 metres of Nacula’s coastline that needed rehabilitation.

This led to 20 native tree species planted and 19 coir logs embedded along the coastline covering 76 meters with only 154 meters remaining.

An additional 40 coir logs, each four metres in length are needed to rehabilitate the remaining coastline.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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