These Mangrove Management Plans, written in 1985 by one of Fiji’s foremost terrestrial biologists, Dr Dick Watling, while not formulated into law in the Fiji Islands, remain the only comprehensive study of Fiji’s mangrove areas available.
Together these plans comprised over 15,000 ha or about 35% of Fiji’s mangroves.
Maps were prepared of the mangrove resource with the mangroves allocated to alliances (dominant species’ associations which characterised the mangroves of the area and their assumed productivity). Separate maps were then prepared with a zonation overlay.
A hierarchical designation of zones was proposed so as to allow a degree of flexibility with the ‘Managed’ and ‘Development’ designated zones whilst affording maximum protection for the majority of the resource (Table 1 and Figure 2).
The overall purpose of the plan and the zoned maps was to provide the Mangrove Management Committee and Department of Lands with a framework for decision-making when development applications were received or when departmental licensing for specific purposes i.e. mangrove harvesting for timber.
The maps were also shown to developers to focus their attention on the need or not to convert mangroves, and/or direct their attention to more suitable sites.
Mangrove Zonation in the Mangrove Management Plan for Fiji 1985/86.
Primary – Mangrove Reserve
- Resource Reserve
- National Reserve
Secondary – Managed Resource
- Traditional Use
- Wood Production
- Shoreline Protection
Tertiary – Development Zone
- Sewage Treatment
- Effluent Processing
- Urban Development
- Tourism Development
- Agriculture Development
A Mangrove Management Plan For Fiji (Phase 2)
A plan for the Mangroves of the Nadi Bay and Suva-Navua Locales
Phase I of the present project – A Mangrove Management Plan for Fiji established the basis of a broad zonation philosophy for Fijian Mangroves (Appendix 1). This was then applied to the mangroves of the Ba, Labasa and Rewa Deltas which comprise 10,686 ha, over a quarter of Fiji’s Mangrove resource. In July 1986, the Cabinet of the Fiji Government endorsed the National Policy Plan for Fijian Mangroves as proposed in Phase 1 of the project [Appendix 2).
While the mangroves of the Ba, Labasa and Rewa Delta are the major and most concentrated formations in the country, they are lightly affected by development pressures which threaten certain areas of Fiji’s mangroves. In consequence, Phase II of the project examined two mangrove locales which because of their location and accessibility are considered the most threatened in the country :
The Suva-Navua Locale is a 60 km coastline of luxurious but essentially fringing mangroves (Fig.1); there is only a single major river estuary-the Navua. Being adjacent to Suva, Fiji’s capital and largest concentrated population, the locale is under increasing pressure from diverse sectors including reclamation and uncontrolled utilisation,
The Nadi Bay Locale contains a greater area of less vigorous mangrove along its 70 km coastline (Fig.1). The locale is the centre of much tourist associated development and its hinterland is a densely populated rural area of small-hoider cane farmers. The locale is associated with two urban concentrations – Nadi/Nadi Airport and Lautoka,
Conditions and personnel for Phase II of the project (Jan-March 1986) were the same as for Phase I, with Dr Dick Watling assigned as Mangrove Consultant and working as Project Officer for the Mangrove Management Committee. The project continued to be over seen by the Fiji Government through the Mangrove Management Committee as a joint project between them and the South Pacific Regional Environmental Programme of the South Pacific Commission.