Mangrove regulation to restore degraded mangrove ecosystems and support coastal community livelihoods.
With the aim of raising awareness on the importance of the survival of mangrove ecosystems, their management and uses, the Director for Environment, Ms Sandeep Singh said the draft Mangrove Conservation regulation once endorsed by Cabinet and gazetted will strengthen existing protection measures on Fiji’s mangrove ecosystem and support efforts to halt further losses and work towards restoring degraded mangrove ecosystems and functions.
“Mangroves are uniquely positioned at the dynamic interface of land and sea and are found along coasts and estuaries throughout the tropics. Mangrove ecosystems stand as one of the most versatile and vitally important coastal ecosystems in Fiji, offering a wide array of multiple benefits and ecosystem services.
“These extra ordinary ecosystems contribute to the wellbeing, food security, and protection of coastal communities worldwide. They support a rich biodiversity and provide a valuable nursery habitat for marine lives.
She added the regulation will further strengthen the Ministry of Environments’ legislative mandates in ensuring that important natural resources such as mangroves, are protected.
“The Mangrove Conservation Management Regulation will pave the way for the Ministry, in terms of regulatory direction and decision for mangrove conservation and protection for Fiji.
“In addition, the Department of Environment will continue to enforce the Environment Management Act (2005) and the Environment Management (EIA Process) Regulation 2007, closely monitoring coastal developments that target mangrove areas for development.” Ms Singh said.
She further encouraged for more collaboration from other partners and organisation in Fiji that will ensure that the Department of Environment works towards a common goal in safeguarding Fiji’s vulnerable mangrove ecosystems and communities.
WWF-Pacific’s Conservation Director Mr Francis Areki thanked the Department of Environment and partners from the private, public and academic sectors for the support provided towards working on the draft mangrove regulation adding that collectively the stakeholders have embarked towards the protection, management and conservation of mangroves and coastal communities in Fiji.
Today’s draft mangrove conservation regulation stakeholder discussions is the second in a series of three stakeholder discussions. The first stakeholder discussion was held in the Western division while the final discussion will be held in the Northern division. This national consultation has been made possible with the support from the Bezos Earth Fund.