FIJI PROVINCE SEEKS TO PRESERVE REEF

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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 30) – The people of a maritime Fijian province want to declare a taboo the over-use of a nearby reef to increase economic opportunities for them.

The people of Kadavu also want to preserve the Great Astralobe Reef to attract more tourists.

This follows a meeting last week of the provincial council and relevant stakeholder groups including Greenpeace, the University of the South Pacific, the Kadavu Tourism Association and the Kadavu Yaubula management support team. The meeting discussed ways in which the island resources could be better managed in terms of sustainable development.

"The Kadavu Provincial Council and its chiefs have acknowledged that resource management is integral to the sustainable development of Kadavu,'' said council chairman Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo.

He said resource management was one of the seven key areas identified and endorsed in the provincial council strategic plan for 2007 to 2011.

The meeting also acknowledged the work already done on the island since 1997 with a total of 44 tabu areas and one gazetted marine reserve already set up around the island.

"In addition, about 600 giant clams have been re-stocked to these tabu areas and four forest reserves set up around the island to protect Kadavu's unique flora and fauna," said Ratu Josateki. Among resolutions passed was that the KYMST with USP support to take the lead role in any resource management initiatives or environmental awareness in collaboration with all stakeholders.

Ratu Josateki said each village on the island was to establish a resource committee to help implement and enforce developed village resource management plans.

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