Climate Watch

Fiji Mangrove Surveys First Step To Sustain Natural Climate Solutions

This work is supported by the governments of Australia, Fiji, and Conservation International, which are partners of the International Partnership for Blue Carbon (IPBC). 
19 Dec 2022 16:48
Fiji Mangrove Surveys First Step To Sustain Natural Climate Solutions
A mangrove area that was severely damaged by Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016. Photo: Conservation International Fiji

Mangroves matter.

They provide critical ecosystem goods and services to Fijian communities by providing shoreline stability, habitat, and breeding grounds for important subsistence and small-scale commercial fisheries and protection from storms.

Mangroves are also a vital natural climate solution greatly contributing to the storage and sequestration of carbon.

Through the Blue Carbon FiProject, Conservation International Fiji, with funding from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), is working on protecting and restoring mangroves by strengthening mangrove management and restoration actions in priority sites, supporting policy and financing pathways to protect Fiji’s mangroves in the long-term, and strengthening the delivery of nature-based solutions to climate change adaptation.


The Blue Carbon Fiji Project was launched to improve the resilience and adaptive capacity of Fijian communities through the delivery of integrated nature-based solutions, and to unlock innovative financing pathways that strengthen mangrove management and restoration while addressing the impacts of climate change.

Already, Conservation International, together with key partners, have implemented several activities in the project areas in Rewa, Tailevu, Ba, and Ra Provinces.

As part of the project’s Drivers of Mangrove Degradation and Deforestation (DoDD) study, initial baseline studies include household surveys, focus group discussions and key informant interviews as well as drone surveys have been completed for selected villages in the mangrove deltas within the project sites.

In collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Ministry of Forestry, Conservation International led the survey which began on August 17 and ended on September 16. Twenty-eight villages and more than 600 households were surveyed on how they use their mangroves and mangrove resources.

Mangrove regrowth in the Navitilevu Bay, in Ra. Photo: Conservation International Fiji

The social survey focused on gathering information to better understand how mangroves are used in Fiji, and understand the social, cultural, and economic factors that affect mangrove restoration and conservation efforts in Fiji.

This work also focused on gaining a better understanding of climate vulnerability and livelihood needs of communities located in the Rewa and Ba deltas and Navitilevu Bay in Ra.

These surveys were followed by a district-level consultation with representatives from the selected mangrove communities.

A ground truthing survey was also conducted in October and November to determine priority areas to restore in the Navitilevu Bay in Ra and Tavuca Island mangroves in Ba.


Initial analysis of drone and satellite imagery has shown that large areas of Ba mangroves are naturally regenerating after consecutive tropical cyclones compared to the Navitilevu Bay mangroves areas.

The ground-truthing survey was critical to determine the extent and cause of the degradation and identify priorities and types of restoration options for the sites.

Conservation International, in collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry, is now in the process of drafting restoration plans for the priority sites before restoration work commences early next year.


This work is supported by the governments of Australia, Fiji, and Conservation International, which are partners of the International Partnership for Blue Carbon (IPBC).

The IPBC is a global network of 54 governments, non-governmental organisations, intergovernmental organisations, and research institutions from around the world that understand the importance of coastal ecosystems and are committed to their conservation.

Gratitude to DFAT for continuing to support our coastal mangrove communities in the face of the inevitable climate impacts.

Conservation International Fiji would like to acknowledge also the respective provincial offices of Ba, Ra, Tailevu and Rewa for its support and collaboration with the Blue Carbon Fiji Project.


Source: Conservation International Fiji


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