Our mangroves

Lenora Qereqeretabua,Suva | Thursday, December 14, 2017

I THOUGHT we were supposed to be trying to preserve and protect our mangroves! In a June 30 article in another paper the permanent secretary for Environment is urging us to be "Advocates for mangroves".

On November 14 I heard on FBC that "Fiji is looking at the possibility of creating a mangrove farm as a means to decrease the amount of carbon.

On November 30 I read another newspaper article in which the Republic of Fiji Military Forces planted 5000 dogo plants at Nasese "in support of COP23 commitments". Then there's a December 14 story on a news website about mangrove planting at Laucala Bay ... etc etc.

Yet I believe the Government is entertaining an application from a paint manufacturer to relocate its factory to a foreshore area near the Namuka-i-Lau settlement outside Lami, which will mean the destruction of stands of mangroves as well as loss of income and lifestyle for countless families.

The families who live on this stretch live off this shore; it's their pantry. Those of us who buy our seafood at the Suva or Lami markets may not think about this, but this area is where the marine delicacies we so treasure are nurtured.

You may not care, but the South Easterly Trade-winds blowing from Kadavu to these beaches will distribute any and all contaminants from the planned "development" onwards to Bilo, Muaivuso and beyond.

Just go to Denarau and take in the destruction of the stands of mangroves between the Navatulevu settlement and Denarau Island. I did and I was horrified at the destruction of our mangroves there.

Yes, yes, all in the name of progress and development, but at what cost long term ....and who is really benefiting?

Wait and see what will happen next time it floods there. And I thought we were supposed to be trying to preserve and protect our mangroves!

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