Meli Naiqama Senimasi is a long-time member and volunteer at NatureFiji-MareqetiViti (NFMV). Currently he is working on the Young Conservation Leadership Programme with BirdLife International, through which NFMV staff and interns have designed and are conducting a project titled Fire Control In and Around the Greater Tomaniivi Area. In addition, Meli is working with the NFMV team on the Action Against Desertification Project with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, focusing on Vanua Levu. Meli’s work on these two programmes for NFMV comes under the auspices of his three-year contract as a Forest Warden for the Department of Forestry in Fiji. During the first two years of that contract he worked as a Forest Warden for the Nadarivatu Forestry Station.
Meli first became involved with NFMV in 2008 when he worked closely with our staff to help set up the Tomaniivi-Nature Club, a local youth club. Since then, he has assisted with a variety of programmes, including the Permanent Forest Estate Project in Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, and the Kulawai Project. To this day, he continues to assist NFMV whenever he’s able, often for specific projects.
But Meli shares his love of nature and passion for conservation whenever he can. He supports other organisations, such as Talanoa Treks, as well as individuals by serving as a tour guide for hikers on Tomaniivi, Fiji’s highest mountain, and as a bird guide around the larger Tomaniivi Important Bird Area (FJ07). Through these efforts, he also helps his home village to raise community funds.
Meli holds a Certificate in Conservation and Forestry Management from the Fiji Forestry Training Center, an Advanced Certificate in Information Technology and a Certificate in Computing. He considers every day to be a learning opportunity and his current aim is to learn more about invasive species eradication as well as to become more at ease with lizards and other reptiles.