Nacula village adopt innovative measure to protect eroding coastline
Coir logs are tube shaped erosion control structures woven from sennits (magimagi) derived from coconut fiber and filled with coconut husks. These are embedded along eroding coastlines and riverbanks, targeted towards its stabilization and rehabilitation.
Coir logs are envisaged to be a low-tech, inexpensive means of adapting to the effects of climate change using naturally available materials, and is trialled by the World Wide Fund for Nature – Pacific (WWF-Pacific) in Nacula village, a project community under its Pacific American Climate Fund (PACAM) project funded by USAID and aims at strengthening governance and resource management for climate resilience in Fiji.
WWF-Pacific’s climate change adaptation PACAM project is a first of its kind for this area in Fiji and is part of the Great Sea Reef initiative, one of WWF-Pacific’s key programmes.
WWF-Pacific climate change officer, Dr. Rusila Savou, 230 metres of Nacula village’s coastline has been earmarked for stabilization through the use of coir-logs and native tree planting.
“Since last year, around 180 metres of coir-logs have been embedded the 20 metres of coir-logs embedded today brings a total of 200 metres of the Nacula coastline covered,” revealed Dr. Savou.
The main objective of this initiative is to empower communities by building their skills and capacity to take full advantage of their natural resources, utilizing them sustainably in combating the effects of climate change in the most cost effective manner.
The coir-log embedding activitie also tied in with the Fiji National Climate Carbon Fasting Wednesday theme of water, coastal protection activities and traditional knowledge.
“All the assistance we can get is much appreciated. Our coastline through the effects of climate change has been eroding. So we are grateful for the help given by WWF-Pacific through these coir-logs and tree planting,” said Nacula villager, Eruweri Naivalu.
“The coir-logs placed so far, I think if it wasn’t for them, the erosive process would have worsened by now. If we wait for a seawall to be constructed it will take a long time as it is expensive and by that time the erosive process would have worsened.”
“I’m 63 years old and the reason why I am part of this coir-log weaving and placement process is that I am thinking of my grandchildren. They are the ones who will suffer if nothing is done,” added Peni Navula of Nacula village.
“I want to thank WWF-Pacific for assisting us on this initiative. We will be making more coir-logs to protect on the eroded areas,” Kemueli Nabilavou, Nacula village headman.
For the WWF-Pacific volunteers part of the weeklong initiative in the Yasawas, the coir-log experience has been an enriching one.
“As a volunteer, it is a great feeling to help such communities that are affected by climate change. Such conservation work ensures or tries to strengthen the community’s resiliency,” said WWF-Pacific volunteer, Una Vuli.
“In terms of conservation, this is a unique initiative but it requires a lot of manpower but its success will greatly benefit the communities affected,” added WWF-Pacific volunteer, Tema Ratu.
Dr. Savou adds both WWF-Pacific and the Nacula community plan to meet the rehabilitation target by the end of this year.
The coir-log weaving and placement conducted is part of WWF-Pacific’s contribution to the Fiji National Climate Week Carbon Fasting objective of uniting, educating and mobilizing Fijians to reduce Fiji’s national carbon footprint through one week of carbon fasting.