Over 120 people including 50 children were at the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park for the launch of NatureFiji-MareqetiViti.
The children, all from surrounding communities, got actively involved in conservation for the first time and helped plant local trees to start a forest restoration project for the National Park.
The event was hosted by the National Trust for Fiji who provided magnificent support. The Trust’s Chairman, Radike Qereqeretabua, quoting from the new Fijian Dictionary complemented the new organisation on its use of Mareqeti, as a word full of meaning for the careful protection of the environment.
He also noted the appropriate planting time according to the traditional Fijian calendar, and he officially launched NatureFiji-MareqetiViti with the planting of a cycad, in front of the Visitor’s centre.
Guest’s, friends and supporters, many from as far away as Suva, helped the children carry the plants to the planting sites and assisted with the planting. National Trust and USP-IAS facilitators were also on hand to identify the plants and to explain to the children the reasons for the activity.
Speeches by Marika Tuiwawa (on behalf of the Trustees and Prof. Randy Thaman (USP)completed a highly successful launch.
Tremendous thanks goes to the National Trust for Fiji for their assistance and organisation.
Thanks too to AQUIFER bottled water and Flour Mills of Fiji for their timely and welcome assistance