8 Yavusa of Tikina ko Nacula and Tikina ko Yasawa agree on Sustainable Management of their Qoliqoli Resources
During the meeting, the 8 traditional leaders agreed to establish and endorse their traditional networks of MPAs with management rules, to establish a Qoliqoli trust fund with a deed of trust, and nominated representatives from each tribe as part of the process for establishing the trust. Some fisheries management rules were also discussed and agreed to, during the collaboration and these included phasing out all night diving fishing activities, putting a cap on the number of commercial fishing licenses issued, banning of SCUBA fishing, and dynamite fishing, to name a few.
The leaders agreed to use the ridge to reef and ecosystem based management approach to help sustainably manage their marine resources including reforestation of their mangroves and degraded forest areas, sustainable agriculture, and banning the use of fire to clear land for planting.
The leaders also agreed to explore opportunities to strengthen food security, increase awareness on Climate Change and adaptation, building community capacity for sustainable fisheries and also improve livelihoods, such as upscaling best practices from the “Living with Change” project facilitated by WWF-Pacific to the Tikina ko Yasawa.
Representatives from the Hotel and Tourist Operators (Nanuya Island Resort, Turtle Island Resort, Coconut Beach Resort, Coralview Island Resort, Nabua Lodge, Yasawa Island Lodge, Blue Lagoon Beach Resort, Oarsman Bay Lodge) within the two Tikinas of Nacula and Yasawa were also invited to be part of the meeting.
The Tui Drola Ratu Manasa Naikasowalu together with the newly elected Mata ni Tikina for Nacula (District Representative) Mrs. Lavenia Naivalu had bilateral meetings with these corporates in the lead up to the meeting of the Traditional Leaders of the 8 tribes to explore opportunities for Private Sector support towards the implementation of the Fisheries Management Plan for Nacula and Yasawa.
During the meeting, these hotel operators together with the traditional leaders agreed on the following:
- These tourist operators will, as part of the network of traditional MPAs within the Qoliqolis to set up their MPAs in front of the resorts foreshore areas with the blessing s of the Heads of the 8 Yavusa or tribes
- The community of Tikina ko Nacula and Tikina ko Yasawa will respect all of the MPAs and comply with the Qoliqoli and Fisheries Management rules
- A small token of appreciation from these operators will be paid into the Qoliqoli Trust Fund
- How the Qoliqoli trust fund will be spent will be discussed between the 8 tribes and the hotel operators in a future meeting and consultations with the qoliqoli communities and these will include financing of the implementation of the Qoliqoli Management plans, the Fisheries Management plans, monitoring and enforcement of network of traditional MPAs, scholarships for education, were some of the few priorities identified during the meeting. These are some of the things that will be integrated into the Qoliqoli Trust Fund’s Deed of trust.
WWF-Pacific’s Project officer, Apolosa Robaigau said that the outcome of the meeting yesterday was very positive and presents many opportunities and multiple benefits for the communities of the Tikina ko Nacula, Tikina ko Yasawa and the Tourist Operators in the near future. These included increased resilience of these communities towards impacts of Climate Change through sustainable management and use of their natural resources, sustainable sourcing and supply of seafood and other agricultural products to the tourist operators thus improving the local economy of the communities, and lowering of carbon footprints for the local resorts further enhancing sustainable tourism.
WWF-Pacific’s Great Sea Reef Programme Manager Alfred Ralifo said that the great leadership of the Turaga na Tui Drola with the support the Tikina Ko Nacula Sustainable Development Committee especially the Chair Mr Ame Rokotuibau (Turaga ni Koro for Navotua Village) and Secretary Mrs. Lavenia Naivalu (Mata ni Tikina Nacula) had greatly assisted the WWF-Pacific team in the implementation of the “Living With Change – Resilient Mangroves, Fisheries and People” project generously funded by IKU German Government.
He also added that the difficulties faced during the implementation phase such as Covid-19, and 5 different tropical cyclones did not dampen the Tikina ko Nacula Community Spirit, instead, it had made them more stronger and committed to work together towards building a sustainable and resilient future through the effective implementation of their District’s 20 year Sustainable Development Plan.