Nacula community invests in mangrove nursery and native trees to protect eroding coastline
The initiative which is part WWF-Pacific’s Pacific American Climate Fund (PACAM) climate change project of Strengthening Governance and Building Resiliency of Communities along the Great Sea Reef, saw 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.
WWF-Pacific’s PACAM project Climate Change Officer, Dr. Rusila Savou, said the villagers had identified coastal erosion as a priority issue affecting them, and these native trees help in the rehabilitation of the coastline and reducing the rate of erosion.
Nacula village headman, Kemueli Nabilavou said the removal of the coastal vegetation in 1997 was a contributor to the dilemma the community now faces.
“However, the native trees and mangrove seedlings in due time will not only stop coastal erosion, but provide fresh air and other services it provides. This is a need, we needed the most and we are thankful that WWF can provide this now,” added Nabilavou.
Dr. Savou added 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,” Dr. Savou said.
Last year, WWF-Pacific had identified 230 meters 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.
Dr. Savou says an additional 40 coir logs, each four meters in length is needed to rehabilitate the remaining coastline.