Nadogo Champions Biodiversity Protection in Northern Division
The community island protected area called Nukuvadra, is one of four islands that exist within the Nadogo District iQoliqoli or traditional fishing boundary. The total designated area is 64.4 hectares and includes the island, mangroves and the marine area up to the reef edge surrounding the island. A total of 6.56 hectares will be protected permanently with this community declaration.
This momentous occasion bears testimony to the unwavering commitment of the Nadogo community in safeguarding their natural heritage and embracing sustainable development.
This event is the culmination of awareness and consultations facilitated by the Fiji office of the World Wide Fund for Nature in the Pacific (WWF-Pacific), in partnership with the Nadogo Development Committee since 2018. The effort has been spearheaded by the three traditional heads of the district which include the Tui Nadogo, Tui Raviravi Sawana and Tui Nubu who collectively recognise the urgency of safeguarding the districts natural resources for biodiversity protection.
Tui Nadogo, Ratu Ilisaniti Malodali highlighted the declaration as a showcase of what can be achieved through collaboration by communities, government and non-government partners such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
“Despite our ever-evolving context in the modern world, traditional leadership still has a role to play and can meaningfully guide communities understanding and contribution to national environment commitments”, said Ratu Malodali.
He added, “Today’s declaration is meant to benefit the current and future generations of Nadogo.”
The declaration was witnessed by the men, women, youth and children of the Nadogo District as both an urgent reminder of the challenges before them but also a symbolic call to action that will now require the collective response of generations to come.
The Chief Guest of the event, the Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Honourable Sakiusa Tubuna congratulated the three traditional heads of the district for their leadership and foresight which culminated in today’s traditional declaration.
“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the three traditional heads of the district for their exemplary leadership in unifying their communities and reaching a consensus to declare Nukuvadra as a protected area", said the Hon. Tubuna.
Emphasising the transformative impact of this initiative, he further remarked, "The declaration of Nukuvadra as a protected area stands as a shining model for other districts in Macuata and Fiji to follow. It exemplifies the remarkable outcomes that can be attained through dedicated effort and harmonious cooperation among stakeholders.”
Nadogo District collectively retains over 1300 hectares of intact mangroves and Nukuvadra being declared permanently protected showcases the Nadogo chiefs and community’s commitment to not only protect mangroves but their further intentions to bring their entire iqoliqoli or fishing grounds under sustainable management. The management of Nukuvadra as a community protected area will be led by the Nadogo Development Committee
"We extend our warmest congratulations to the Nadogo Community”, said WWF-Pacific's Director, Dr. Mark Drew.
"Their significant contribution in combating climate change through the strategic use of protected areas and mangroves as adaptation tools is commendable and amidst the ongoing impacts of climate change, these protected areas and mangroves play a critical role, particularly in safeguarding food security through fisheries and serving as active carbon sinks through sequestration."
The International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem or World Mangroves Day is celebrated across the globe every year on the 26 July. This day was adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or (UNESCO in 2015, and the day is aimed at raising awareness on the importance of mangroves as “a unique, special and vulnerable ecosystem” and to promote solutions for their sustainable management, protection and use
For more information:
Tui Marseu, Communications Officer - GSR Programme, WWF-Pacific. E: firstname.lastname@example.org, P: +679 331 5533