Increasing Climate Change Resilience in Remote Coastal Communities of Macuata and Cakaudrove Provinces: A New Project with EU
From November 2020, C3 officially launched its new three-year project financed by the EU. Through this project, fifteen communities in Macuata and Cakaudrove will be working towards becoming more resilient to the threat of climate change using the ecosystem-based approach. This is also aligned with Fiji’s national commitment to the Ocean Pathway Partnership.
C3 visited the villages of Baleyaganiga, Cawaro, Lakeba, Lagi, Kavewa, Korotubu, Naqumu, Qaranivai, Naividamu, and Sese to discuss the project. It was the first time for some community members to learn about global warming. They were enthusiastic to work together on the project, especially as the reality of climate change was evident everywhere in their surroundings. They also wanted the young people to learn to protect the environment. C3 has been working with these communitieis for over a decade as the lead environmental NGO in the north.
The project was launched on 6 November, 2020, in Nukubati Island, Macuata. Honourable Semi Koroilavesau and European Union Ambassador, Mr Sujiro Seam, graced the event.
(Photo: Ministry of Fisheries, Fiji)
An official project logo has been designed featuring elements from major ecosystems targeted for protection: mangroves, seagrass, forests, reefs, and the ocean. The bird is the endemic and near-threatened Taveuni Silktail (Lamprolia victoriae), while the fish is the endangered Humphead Wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus). The slogan translates to, “Protect our Environment To Enhance our Climate.”
Communities destroyed by Cyclone Yasa and extreme flooding
Recovery continues for our communities on Kia island that were affected by tropical cyclone Yasa. Yaro village bore the brunt of the storm, with 30 out of 34 houses fully destroyed, and all crops affected.
The Rocket Stove Initiative, empowering rural women
To further promote climate change resilience in communities, we have focused on supporting women to be leaders of positive change. Through the Rocket Stove Initiative, we have trained women in the construction, use, and maintenance of rocket stoves.
A trainee learns to construct a rocket stove. (Photo: C3, 2019)
Rocket stoves are more fuel-efficient than regular stoves. These stoves use less firewood, and thus decrease the time women spend collecting firewood and preparing meals. Since they do not require the cutting of many trees, they also help to establish community nurseries that will reforest denuded areas with native trees and sustainable sources of fuelwood.
The Rocket Stove Initiative is part of our three-year project with EU. Thanks to the support of EU, US Regional Environment Office, our Community Liaison Officers have been fabricating 200 stoves, to be distributed to our women beneficiaries who will be trained in their use.
From October to November 2020, several villages, including Navidamu, Qaranivai, Sese, Cawaro, Baleyaganiga, and Lagi, were also consulted on their interest in rocket stoves. The communities were very happy to learn about them, as well the effects and impact of climate change, which the stoves aim to mitigate. In these sessions, villagers told C3 that they gained insights into their role in conserving resources.
Growing Our Community Forest Reserves and MPAs
The villages of Baleyaganiga, Navidamu, Naqumu, Qaranivai, Kavewa, Lakeba, and Cawaro are working with C3 and its co-funder, US Forestry Service, to identify locations for native trees reforestation and mangrove restoration. By 2023, we aim to have replanted 3,000 new mangrove trees, created two new community forest reserves, and secured 1,600 km2 of marine areas under protection, including fifteen functioning Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs).
Lastly, Qaranivai village thanked C3 for the establishment of their LMMA, now two years into its operation. Already they can see bigger fishes and crabs around the periphery of the MPA.