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On the 6th and 7th of November, I set out to join the Fijian Department of Fisheries conduct training in Nadivakarua Village in Kubulau District, Bua.
The aim of the workshop was to establish plant nurseries so inland communities could provide favorable conditions for tree seedlings to grow before transplanting and covered topics such as identifying a suitable site for the nursery, building the structure as well as plant production, handling and maintenance.
On the first day, the community gathered the posts from the forest and dug the holes where the posts would later sit forming the foundation of the plant nursery.
Jone Vakarewa and his team from the Department of Fisheries arrived with the remaining materials needed and with his guidance the community participants were able to cut the posts to size and tied wire to each of the posts to close the first day’s activities on a high note.
Around the Tanoa that evening the community congregated in the village hall to gain tips from Jone Vakarewa about successful seedling pots, maintenance, income generation and to discuss community support for the project and unfavorable weather conditions in the area.
On day two the community began by setting up the mesh netting and cutting it into the measured sizes. As part of the workshop, the Forestry officials demonstrated how to mix the soil, fill the potted plants, handling the seedlings and transplanting.
He also emphasized the importance of choosing the right soil for pot plants for the different type of plants before one hundred seedlings of Yasi or Sandalwood were brought in to start with part of 3 kilograms of Yasi seedlings that were paid by the KRMC
The Tui Wainunu, Ratu Orisi Baleitavea paid a visit during the workshop where he was impressed by the participants from each of the villages within Kubulau and was briefed on the progress of the nursery as part of the KRMC GEF funded project in which WCS with the Wainunu RMC
Following the completion of the nursery, the KRMC established a mechanism to assign a few members to look after the nursery and water the pot plants.
Eventually it is envisioned that this project will be able to perform an important ecological task in arresting up-stream soil erosion and sedimentation that negatively impact inshore fisheries and coastal communities livelihoods.
It will also act as a provenance for re-establishing wetlands and re-vegetation projects as logging practices in the area continue.