Restoring Natural Landscape - Fiji

Restoring the Natural Landscape on Mali Island through Community Landcare

The project is primarily targeted at restoring the landscape of Mali Island to some degree where it retains a higher percentage of native flora and an improvement in its land quality and soil condition for long term sustainable agriculture. An added purpose of the project is to improve the community’s long term access to freshwater resources and to strengthen community capacity to sustain initiated project activities independently and exploit livelihoods and income opportunities for the community at large that may arise out of the project. The project is run by WWF and Live & Learn are participating as contractors.

Mali Island can be located by the coordinates 16’’20’37 S 120’’20’40 E or 0.84 km off the coast, roughly the mid section, of Fiji’s second largest island, Vanua Levu. The island roughly covers 5.4 sq km and is volcanic. The island due to poor land use practices in the past, specifically slash and burn farming and uncontrolled burning has resulted in the survival of very little of the original native forest, much of what once was now survive in isolated patches in gullies or steep slopes. Assessing the islands landscape from digital pictures indicate close to 85% of the island devoid of natural forest, replaced instead by grassland. Anecdotes from the community indicate that in the past uncontrolled burning could extend to as much as half the island and would die down only upon reaching the sea on each end of the island. Many native trees, formerly prevalent on the island have now been totally extirpated. The loss of native trees and persistent burning over the years has resulted in increasing erosion of top soil, lower productivity of crops and prevalent drier soil conditions. To exacerbate the situation access to adequate water supply on the island is limited. The island however still sustains fairly intact mangrove strands which predominately cover the islands coast, partially due to sediment loading along the coast from run off from the land. This does not however, indicate that the mangroves completely trap all sediment runoff, much end up on the coral reefs surrounding the island causing added damage to that system as well.

Expected Outputs specific for Live & Learn Environmental Education

  • An Assessment Report of Mali Island’s Community Water Availability Survey.
  • Report on Mali Island Long term Water Sufficiency Planning and Implementation Workshop.
  • Report on community training on water resource management, storage and testing and monitoring plan.
  • Report on water storage facilities implementation.