Kia Island experiences long periods of dry weather, the only piece green areas are clustered along the coastal strips round the island’s bays and along rainy season streams. Luceana or vaivai dina is the most dominant and most invasive as well and mangoes are the largest of the trees found on Kia. The bare hills and mountains and the absence of local indigenous trees like vesi, dakua salusalu, kaudamu, koka and fruit trees like tarawau, kavika, dawa and flowering trees like makosoi, lagakali, leba and misimisi, would be a great concern to anyone who plans to live there.
After carrying out a socio economic survey in 2011, we found out that the main cause of the loss in these important plants was fire. The slash and burning method of farming on a frequent basis has resulted in the loss of these trees. To help out in restoring these lost indigenous species, C3 has embarked on a woodlot project with the help from the Forestry Department.
Conservation Ambassadors were selected as representatives from the three villages for a two days nursery management training at the Forestry Research Station at Korotari outside Labasa. The training included fruit picking, skin shedding, seed selection, germination, potting and final transplant of young saplings to final spot in the field. As well as other important issues that can help a nursery to be successful like soil mixing, making germination boxes, sand and soil strainers and potting shelves.
Apart from helping the island in re-establishment of its lost plant species, C3 also aims to provide alternative livelihood and income from producing sandlewood.
Returning to the island, the team is now ready to spread their knowledge to the community by first building a nursery for each of the three villages on the island.