Fiji’s First Celebration Of WWD Since Joining The Ramsar Convention In 2006.

Fiji today celebrates World Wetlands Day for the first time since we became signatory to the Ramsar Convention in 2006.

To commemorate World Wetlands Day, the Department of Environment hosted the Fiji Ramsar Steering Committee meeting and the launch of this very important day by handing over to Rivers Fiji a cheque to demarcate the boundaries of Fiji’s only Ramsar Site: the Upper Navua Conservation Area.

This hand over is a culmination of efforts from Government, NGOs and Rivers Fiji to maintain the Upper Navua Conservation Area as a Ramsar Site.

The Upper Navua Conservation Area is severely threatened by logging companies; without demarcating the boundaries, the area is at risk of losing many of its trees to logging.

The theme for WWD 2009 is Upstream, Downstream: Wetlands Connect Us All. By demarcating the boundaries of the Upper Navua Conservation Area, 200m on either side of the Upper Navua Gorge will be protected from illegal logging, therefore protecting the river basin.

This activity will highlight that by protecting the forest upstream, we reduce the risk of flooding downstream.

NatureFiji-MareqetiViti in collaboration with the Department of Environment, Wetlands International and the South Pacific Regional Herbarium (USP) put together supplements highlighting Fiji’s important wetland species, sites and the threats to their survival.

The tram also modified the WWD 2009 poster initially created by the Ramsar Secretariat (World Conservation Union – Switzerland), translating the poster into Fijian and Hindi, and adding local endemic species that depend on our wetlands for survival.

NatureFiji-MareqetiViti is grateful to:

  • the Department of Environment (Resource and Awareness Division) for their continued collaboration with us;
  • Wetlands International for giving the much needed valuable information on Fiji’s wetland areas;
  • the Curriculum Development Unit of the Ministry of Education for translation of the posters;
  • Ministry of Forestry, Ministry of Tourism for their collaboration in keeping the Fiji Ramsar Steering Committee well informed on government policies and acts;
    Ramsar Secretariat (World Conservation Union, Switzerland) for sending us the materials that assisted the above groups in putting together the materials for Fiji’s celebration of World Wetlands Day 2009;
  • and Rivers Fiji for maintaining the Upper Navua Conservation Area.