Building of Resilient Communities in Ra , Fiji

by OISCA International
Building of Resilient Communities in Ra , Fiji
Building of Resilient Communities in Ra , Fiji
Building of Resilient Communities in Ra , Fiji
Building of Resilient Communities in Ra , Fiji
Building of Resilient Communities in Ra , Fiji
Building of Resilient Communities in Ra , Fiji
Building of Resilient Communities in Ra , Fiji
Building of Resilient Communities in Ra , Fiji

It has been 23 years since we started rehabilitating the coastal areas in Fiji with mangroves, in collaboration with local communities. In the span of two decades, we have noticed several positive changes in terms of the improved mangrove forests and the increased level of participation of local people. However, due to the intensity and frequency of disasters, coastal communities are the most vulnerable to the impact of these catastrophes. They felt the need to create more mangrove forests, which will serve as natural barriers and protection from these calamities.

OISCA, in partnership with private companies, GlobalGiving donors, UNDP, and the Fijian government, is committed to continuing to work with these communities, particularly women, for them to have a more sustainable and resilient future.

On behalf of the local villagers in Ra Province, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to GlobalGiving donors for their kind and generous support. We intend to extend and replicate our coastal rehabilitation work in various vulnerable areas.

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We wish to extend our sincerest gratitude to our GlobalGiving donors for their generous support of our mangrove rehabilitation project in Fiji. The GlobalGiving donations were added to our own funds and enabled us to organize and engage local villagers in rehabilitating mangrove forests in Ra Province. With the aim of having a high survival rate, together with local villagers, we have adopted two options for planting mangroves: direct planting and raising mangroves in our nursery prior to planting them in sites with strong waves and currents. After several years, the mangrove forest will protect the local village from strong waves and winds, particularly during the cyclone season.

The mangrove project aims to reduce the vulnerability and exposure to disasters of villagers, especially marginalized fisherfolk and female-led households. These vulnerable groups, who mostly live on less than $2 a day, are prone to critical losses of livelihood assets from recurring disasters. The increase in the frequency of extreme weather patterns may trigger more destruction, especially in areas with no mangrove cover. These often endanger the lives and sources of income of villages, including marginalized women.

Adopting nature-based solutions through mangrove rehabilitation is a pragmatic approach to responding to the environmental problems in Fiji. The community-led rehabilitation and reforestation of the denuded site are crucial to the reduction of disaster risks, and the creation of livelihood opportunities for the community, particularly women.

Our project provides multiple socio-economic benefits, including carbon storage and sequestration, biodiversity conservation, and poverty alleviation, regardless of the type of disaster. Our approach can reduce the impact of all three components of the disaster risk and climate change mitigation equation: exposure, vulnerability, and hazard. We hope that as we help improve ecosystems by planting mangroves, communities` vulnerability to natural calamities is reduced.

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As an island country in the Pacific, our greatest fear is the unfavorable climate conditions that severely impacts coastal communities.

Since OISCA pioneered the mangrove planting program in 1998, we have been engaging local communities to be more alert and proactive in the protection of shorelines and local resources. Our greatest concern is the preservation of the existing forests and reefs to be able to support the many forms of ecosystems around us, particularly the people itself for now and for the future.

The GlobalGiving donations enabled us to work with vulnerable communities through climate change adaptation programs. These initiatives helped empowered communities. We were able to reach out and involve local communities who were always been susceptible from natural disturbances, including strong winds during cyclone season. The mangroves that we helped planted serve as natural barriers and wind breakers that slow and reduce threats to coastal dwellers.

Our efforts were recognized by the government on which we believe will greatly impact the progress of our activity.

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We are grateful to GlobalGiving donors for your generous support to our mangrove rehabilitation project in Nakorotubu District, Ra Province in Fiji.

In line with the national government` target of planting 2 million mangrove seedlings, we are actively engaging local villagers in the protection of the shorelines. This effort is highly recognized by the local and national government. We may face issues such as COVID-19 pandemic and disasters such as cyclones, but we are committed to continue encourage local communities to be part of the rehabilitation process.

Moreover, we mobilized our resources and provided the local communities with trainings and agricultural inputs to somehow reduce their vulnerability from disasters and of the negative impact of the pandemic. Since the pandemic, we have trained local people who were laid off from tourism related jobs. We taught them how to grow vegetables organically to address the problem of food insecurity.

Meanwhile, as a result of the gradual restoration of mangrove, there is a now a noticeable increase of fish catches both for the villagers` own consumption, as well as for commercial purposes. It helps sustain the basic needs of families living along the coastal area. As we work with the villagers for the sustainable management of their coastal forest, we are aware of how important to involve not only the elders, but also the youths. As island villagers become more vulnerable from frequent disasters, collective responsibilities are in need.

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Locals engaging in mangrove activity.
Locals engaging in mangrove activity.

On behalf of the local communities benefiting from our mangrove reforestation project in Ra Province, I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to GlobalGiving donors for your generous support.

Your donations enabled us to engage further local communities, particularly the youths on the rehabilitation of the coastal areas in Navolau Village. Under the “Youth Coastal Care” program, together with local youths and in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, we were able to plant a total of 1,600 mangrove seedlings on May 5, 2022. Prior to the event, we have established a nursery within the planting site, to have an easy access to mangrove seedlings.

With the frequent occurrence of intense cyclones, local communities on island nations like Fiji are vulnerable from such disasters. In the long-run, community-led mangrove reforestation projects are crucial for the protection of local people. Just like the communities protected by the mangrove forests that we helped established.

Thank you for your continued support.

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Organization Information

OISCA International

Location: Suginami-ku, Tokyo - Japan
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Ma. Grazen Acerit
Suginami-ku , Tokyo Japan
$2,190 raised of $48,681 goal
24 donations
$46,491 to go
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