An Overview Of Our Solution
- Population Impacted:
- Continent: Oceania
Wainiveiota Estate Toninaiwau Place Colo-i-Suva Fiji Islands
Local resources the community depends on, and for what purpose
Local threats to resources
Level of sensitivity
Level of adaptive capacity
Found only in the Fiji Islands the Soga (Fiji Sago Palm) takes twenty years to mature before bearing fruit, clusters of its distinctive seed, and then dying. It has been identified that more than 60 per cent of all Sago Palms have been lost to Fiji due to the recent destructive practice of harvesting for thatch to serve the tourist industry, and because of harvesting for the core or heart. The Sago Palm has been listed as an endangered species by conservationists, NatureFiji-MareqetiViti, and although it has been under threat for almost two decades the current exploitation of the Palm is unsustainable and the Sago Palm is now in serious risk of extinction. Once widespread throughout the main island of Viti Levu in the locations of Navua and Rewa River Delta, today only 12 isolated populations survive - mainly in pockets on the coastal plains and three significant inland populations along the Navua River. Only one or two small, doubtfully native, stands survive in the Rewa Delta today but it is believed that before human habitation they once covered the whole of the Delta. On the island of Ovalau only a single small population is reported to survive. The distribution of the Sago Palm has decreased dramatically primarily through a gradual drainage of coastal swamps and clearing of coastal forests for agriculture, gardens and pastures. Until recently these threats acted at a gradual rate on a steadily diminishing stock, however, within the last twenty years several dramatic new threats to the Palm have emerged in the form of: ? large scale coastal drainage schemes; ? new residential and agricultural subdivisions; ? the growth of a non-traditional ?palm-heart? trade; and, ? the introduction of unsustainable leaf harvesting for thatch. The unsustainable harvesting of leaves for thatch to meet demand from the tourist industry has increased exponentially over the past few decades, a situation that has caused the killing the trees to obtain all the leaves. Heavy removal of leaves stunts the growth of Palms and keeps them in a permanent juvenile condition. Excessive leaf removal and felling for palm heart opens up the canopy of stands and introduces a serious problem from weed invasion by Merremia peltata and other creepers that can smother young palms and even kill adults before they fruit.
Economic Indicators used to measure benefit
Saving and endemic species by creating a valuable plantation, creating a income opportunity for a village of 300 people,
Community/Social Indicators used to measure benefit
The whole project cost was F$9,630.41 funded by Global Greengrant Fund with other contributions, " A little money can go a long way". EVENT SPONSORS AND SUPPORTERS In Kind Supporters The following organisations made contributions to the project. Narceys Plastics Industries Ltd - Additional planter bags for the palms Goodman Fielder - chickens for the Fijian lovo RB Patel - Rolls of aluminium foil, cordial, paper cups Solanders - Tuna for the Fijian lovo at the launch Aqua Pacific Artesian Water - Bottled water for the students field trip kits, and VIPs Ashabhai - Salt, paper plates for lovo Government Departments Department of Fisheries and Forests - Staff to assist with the transfer of palms to the plantation site , staff to assist with the transfer of palms, provision of vehicles for transporting the palms to the village, advice regarding palm cultivation issues, provision of a boat (at cost) for transporting guests across to the village for the launch. Nausori Police Station - security, assistance with guests traversing the river, and a police boat for river crossings for the launch. Department of Education - event endorsement for the attending schools at the launch.
The Plantation has the potential of generating from harvest over F$80,000 per annum or F$1.6 million over the life but should generate at least 500,000 new seed ensureing survival of the species.
Ecological Indicators used to measure benefit
Employment and productive establishment of land, removal of invasive species.
What were/are the challenges your community faced in implementing this solution?
They will have to wait 3 years while maintaining the land before income is generated. The had to clear and establsih a accessible plantion in very wet lands.
Describe the community-based process used to develop the solution including tools and processes used
ENDEMIC SPECIES REPLANTING INITIATIVE Saving the Fiji Sago Palm The project was initially developed in response to the need to save the endemic Fiji Sago Palm (Soga), based on relocating 1,000 palms to a designated wetland site in the traditional Fiji village of Vuniniudrovu, Viti Levu, Fiji, for the establishment of a Sago Palm plantation. The project has, to date, received much valued assistance and support including much valued support from the Department of Fisheries and Forests, and was gratefully endorsed by the Department of Education, National Heritage, Culture and the Arts. Site preparation was undertaken over a period of several weeks during February and March by the Vuniniudrovu Villagers. Assembly of palms for relocation from Colo-i-Suva also took place during this time and this was undertaken by members of Tahila Group?s staff. Additional palms were also sourced by Tahila Group staff as some existing stock and seeds had become damaged or destroyed. The project received a number of in kind donations from local sponsors, primarily for the project The project received a number of in kind donations from local sponsors, primarily for the project launch which took place on World Forests Day, Thursday 21 March 2013. The US Ambassador Frankie A. Reed attended the event as chief guest, and the US government provided a small grant to assist with additional costs. The launch and inaugural planting session was attended by several hundred villagers, dignitaries, special guests, students, teachers, government and NGO representatives, and members of the print and TV media. A traditional Fijian Sevusevu was held prior to the planting of the first palms by attendees and guests. Two local schools were selected to participate in the World Forest Day activities. A Study Guide was produced to provide information on the project?s main themes and objectives and background information on the history of the Sago Palm, and ?best practice? cultivation. Much work is still to be undertaken by the Villagers. At the time of completing this report a few hundred plants were still to be transported to the site. These palms, last of the stock, have been set aside at the Colo-i-Suva site to allow them to grow bigger before being transferred to the village and replanted. This will be undertaken with the ongoing support of the Department of Forestry sometime in the coming months. Notwithstanding, it is evident that the primary objectives of the initiative have been realised, and that the project?s long term goals remain on track.
Climate hazard of concern
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the ecosystem affected?
The Vuniniudrovu villagers identified a suitable site in a swampy location at the back of the village proper. Access down to the site was made possible through the construction by villagers of a hand cut timber steps with railings from the ridge to the swampy land below, a distance of approximately 75 metres. The Villagers have embraced the project as a way of conserving the Sago Palms for the long term benefit of their children, grandchildren and fellow Fijians, and with the view that under guidance from Nature Fiji and Forestry they will be able to create an income stream through the sale of thatch in a sustainable manner. The Villagers also indicated their desire to investigate the creation of an ecotourism business on the plantation site.
How has your solution increased the capacity of the ecosystem to adapt to potential climate changes?
We have planted 1,000 tree's and created a valuable incentive to the preservation of a species.
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the communities affected?
The Plantation provides a valauble gren belt for the village with strong economic outcomes. Importantly it has raised awareness of the value of managing and protecting endemic species. Principals and teachers from two local schools, Adi Cakobau Girls School (50 students) and Navuso Agriculture School (20 students) attended the launch and replanting session. A Study Guide was produced to provide information on the project?s themes, and offers background information on the Sago Palm. The Study Guide was complied as an educational aid based on the benefits of conserving endemic species for future generations. At the completion of the project teachers were asked to complete the short survey to allow the program managers to ascertain the value of the intuitive as a learning exercise. STUDENTS? FIELD TRIP KIT Each of the students and their attending teachers were provided with a field trip bag comprising the following: ? 1 green cloth tote bag with cotton pull string ? 1 bottle of Aqua Pacific artesian water ? 1 muesli bar ? 1 A5 exercise book ? 1 pencil ? 1 pen ? 1 pair of rubber gloves ? 1 Printed copy of the project Teachers and Students Study Guide ? 2 Nature Fiji brochures on the Sago Palm, application to join Nature Fiji.
How does your solution reduce the sensitivity of the communities affected?
We have establsihed with support from Ministry of Education Curriculm links, established a profile in Fiji for World Forest day, and a base for future campaigns to save endemic species.
How has your solution increased the capacity of local communities to adapt to potential climate changes?
We have raised community interest in preseravtion and conservation, Traditional Building culture and hertitage as well as Agri tourism and Eco tourism
Can this solution be replicated elsewhere?
Yes in many places,