TechInPacific – The Ministry of Environment of Fiji is determined to preserve the mangrove ecosystem in the country as seen in its strategy to partner with WWF-Pacific through the Bezos Mangrove Initiative.
In the commemoration of International Mangrove Conservation, The Minister for Agriculture, Waterways, and Environment, Dr. Mahendra Reddy said the loss of mangrove forests due to urban expansion, tourism development, and creation of waste disposals happens at an alarming rate.
“The loss of mangroves can reduce or even decimate important fish and bird habitats, resulting in economic losses to communities that rely on mangroves for both subsistence and income livelihood,” said Dr. Reddy.
Hence, the initiative funded by Jeff Bezos, executive chairman of Amazon through the Bezos Earth Fund, will work on preserving mangroves by developing and utilizing nature-friendly solutions to restore the ecosystem to a balance.
“Under this new trilateral partnership, a combined investment of FJD 600,000 has been secured and will be used to protect and restore mangroves, which sequester carbon and protect coastal communities from the ravages of climate-accelerated weather events,” Dr. Reddy explains.
He adds that a management regulation under the Environment Management Act 2005 and national guidelines of the mangrove ecosystem will be developed as part of the initiative.
“We believe that although nature can exist without people, people cannot exist without nature and it is imperative to find balance,” said Mark Drew, the Director of WWF Pacific.
According to Drew, the organization’s previous work for the Great Sea Reef or locally known as Cakaulevu has led to enhanced resilience of the coastal residents and ecosystems.
“Central to WWF’s work is supporting host country government’s efforts to conserve and protect natural resources,” Drew continues.
“Our view is if we can work with and support national and sub-national government priorities we will advance a common agenda of achieving sustainable development.”