Tropical dry forest is considered to be one of the most endangered ecosystems and habitats in the Pacific. In Fiji dry forest ecosystems are only found on major islands in the rain shadow or dry areas, and the Mamanuca Group is a perfect example.
Ahura Resorts, Malolo and Likuliku designed a training program on the 25th of August to enhance the appreciation of the importance of biological diversity and ecological services and goods the forests provided.
Representative from the Natural Resource Management Committees from the four villages in the Malolo Tikina were also part of the training to assist them in understanding the impacts of climate change, stressing the importance of sustainable forest and land use practices, while making connections to meeting daily livelihood needs. The training was indeed an interesting one as the participants were taken out to projects site for tour visit where Sialisi Rasalato, Ahura Group Environment Manager elaborate on the conservation of dry forest that the Ahura Group is spearheading.
The program includes the tour to the nursery where Sia elaborate more the potted plants in trial methods that he used. Tour to the Iguana Sanctuary was the most interested one as the community members were introduced on the native species of crested iguanas originated from Malolo Levu with a little explanation on the history and how the whole Ahura Reforestation Intiative has boost the protection of these endangered species.
A tour to the reforested area where Sia highlighted on the tree planting programme that is usually done on the last week of every month where guests are most welcomes to take part. “It is always recommended to extend planting from an existing forest patch or water catchments and then move outwards,” Sia said.
Also included in the programme , the tour to the 10×10 metre demonstration plot . The prototype is part of the groups initiative to preserve and replenish the endangered tropical dry forest ecosystems in the Mamanuca Group.
“We will empower other Yaubula Management Committee Members on what we have learnt today”, these were the words of Solevu YMST Chairman, Maika Nasilasila.
The Mamanuca Environment Society will continue working with the Yaubula management support team in this long-term dry forest restoration program that directly supports the critically endangered Fijian crested iguana and other biodiversity of Malolo Levu and community livelihood for the present and future generation.