Wailevu communities moving forward together

Communities in Wailevu came together in April to finalise plans promoting sustainable use and conservation of their natural resources.

Wailevu is siituated in the province of Cakaudrove in Vanua Levu. Consisting of 30 villages and significant settlements, it is geographically the largest district in Fiji. Well known for farming dalo and yaqona, the district is also home to Waisali Forest Reserve, the Mount Kasi gold mine, an established pearl farm and a range of community eco-tourism sites.

Building on the success of Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) in neighbouring Kubulau, WCS Fiji is supporting Wailevu communities to develop a collaborative plan through which to protect local habitats, promote sustainable resource management and enhance quality of life.

The plan will be implemented and monitored by a Resource Management Committee in Wailevu West and another in the East of the district. “It is good to see such strong support from all the villages. With the backing of our Chiefs, we have been working together to identify tabu areas and management rules that will preserve our resources for future generations” stated Timoci Rokosuli, Chairman of the Wailevu West Resource Management Committee. “We thank WCS for their support and look forward to working together for the benefit of Wailevu”.

A range of stakeholders have also been involved in developing the plans. Jone Vakamino from the Cakaudrove Yaubula Management Support Team said he had attended several workshops in the past six months. “The Roko Tui has seen the value of this work and the Provincial Council is actively supportive”, he stated “the communities are taking responsibility to ensure a healthy environment. This can also benefit them economically, with potential for ecotourism projects like the one that is growing in Bagata”.

EBM fuses scientific principles with local and traditional ecological knowledge to promote sustainable management of terrestrial, freshwater, estuarine, coastal and marine habitats. It aims to maintain healthy, productive and resilient ecosystems that can overcome pressure from population growth and climate change to meet the needs of future generations.

Planning for the future in Wainunu District

A finalised a set of protected areas, management rules and protocols for an Ecosystem-Based Management Plan have been finalised at WCS Fiji’s recent Management Support Workshop in Wainunu District, Bua Province of Fiji.

Mosese, the chair of the newly formed Wainunu Resource Management Committee, presents the agreed Committee hierarchy back to the group.

Providing a foundation for sustainable management of terrestrial, freshwater, estuarine, coastal and marine ecosystems, the plan fuses scientific research with local management approaches. It links to work being delivered in Kubulau, Nadi, Solevu and Wailevu Districts as part of WCS Fiji’s focus on the Vatu-i-Ra Seascape, one of Fiji’s last great wild places.

Representatives from Wainunu’s villages and settlements (except Cogea, which was under a typhoid quaratine) came together with WCS Fiji and Bua Provincial Council in Nakawakawa village. Changes to protected area boundaries and management rules reflected further consideration and input from communities since the last planning workshop in November 2011.

The Wainunu Resource Management Committee was established to lead and oversee implementation, with sub-committees for Communication and Enforcement to help drive progress. Their first meeting was held immediately after the workshop, before formalising their existence with Tui Wainunu and at the Bose Vanua the following day.

WCS Fiji is looking forward to working with the Wainunu Resource Management Committee to implement the plan and contribute to conservation of these valuable ecosystems for future generations.

This project is kindly funded by grants from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Disney Friends for Change Programme and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (US Department of Commerce).

Paolo’s Triumph: managing Kubulau’s natural resources

Here is a film in 3 parts about the important contribution Paolo Kolikata has made to ensuring the food security of future generations, by protecting and managing the reefs and forests of his district of Kubulau. Paolo is the Chairman of the Kubulau Resource Management Committee which delivers Kubulau’s Ecosystem-based Management Plan.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3: