NEWS

Key Partners Discuss, Plan Management Of Qoliqoi Cokavata

A two-day national workshop on the Qoliqoli Cokovata management plan organised by the Department of Environment at Labasa Civic Centre was opened by Commissioner Northern, Jovesa Vocea.
01 Feb 2019 10:00
Key Partners Discuss, Plan Management Of Qoliqoi Cokavata
District reps from the Macuata Province at the national workshop on the Qoliqoli Cokovata management plan at the Labasa Civic Centre on January 31, 2019. Photo: Shratika Naidu

 

Qoliqoli Cokovata, Fiji’s second site to be designated under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance has brought together government stakeholders and the four districts of the Macuata province in Labasa yesterday.

A two-day national workshop on the Qoliqoli Cokovata management plan organised by the Department of Environment at Labasa Civic Centre was opened by Commissioner Northern, Jovesa Vocea.

He said the purpose of the workshop was to discuss and plan for a holistic approach towards management of the Qoliqoli Cokovata.

This is located along the north coast of Vanua Levu and covers an area of 134,000 hectares of fishing grounds.

It encompasses 37 villages in four districts (Dreketi, Macuata, Sasa and Mali) and includes three outlying islands (Mali, Kia and Macuata-i-wai).

They collectively retain custodial ownership of the site’s associated lagoons, reefs and intertidal flats.

“Today’s event has brought together various government stakeholders and key partners, communities and individuals to share and access information,” Mr Vocea said.

“That will enable a holistic approach to manage and protect the amazing ecosystem of the Great Sea Reef, which will help us prepare to cope and bounce back from the impact of climate change.

“The Great Sea Reef, the third longest reef system in the Southern Hemisphere has been designated as a Ramsar site.

“It provides a great boost for sustainable livelihood for the people of this region.

“It also paves the way for us to consider the Ramsar Convention as a management tool for the protection of other important wetland sites.”

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Pacific conservation director Francis Areki said Fiji’s first ramsar site being the Upper Navua Conservation Area was designated in 2006, 13 years ago.

“We are providing awareness to the participants, what it means to be a Ramsar site because it’s quite rare for a country to be designated as a Ramsar site,” Mr Areki said.

“Being a Ramsar site will allow the four districts to promote and showcase what they want to the world.”

“We will be updating participants on the conservation work in the Macuata province and how we can link up to the Government and national use.

“Qoliqoli Cokovata was declared a Ramsar site last year in January.”

Edited by Susana Tuilau



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