The WWF South Pacific Programme Office serves the eastern Melanesian Island countries as part of WWF’s endeavour to work effectively and locally in the region.
The programme is managed from a regional base in Suva, Fiji and organises a strategic series of conservation field projects, policy reviews and campaigns. A local office has also been established in the Cook Islands.
As part of WWF’s cohesive conservation effort in the region, it works closely with the Western Melanesian office located in Papua New Guinea.
Projects and Programmes
Sustainable Seafood Programme
An innovative programme focussed on transforming the seafood supply sector, working with a variety of partners along the seafood supply chain to build a firm foudantion for sustainable fisheries. At the community level we engage communities in adopting sustainable fishing practices, exploring value adding of marine resources and promoting the adoption of alternative sources of income to give marine resources a chance to replenish stocks. We also work with major hoteliers, encouraging sustainable seafood menus and with the Fiji Government in employing certification standards for seafood sourcing. Food security for Fijians through a sustainable seafood supply and the reduction of poverty are the main drivers of this programme flagging the concept that sustainable fisheries promote these.
Great Sea Reef Programme
Fiji’s largest reef system, the Great Sea Reef supplies as much as 80% of fish sustaining the domestic fisheries industry, employing hundreds and supporting the livelihoods of as many as 70,000 people living in coastal communities along the length o the reef system. Offering as well recreational pleasures to the tourism sector, the GSR is a strong pillar bolstering the national economy. Protecting this reef system is therefore crucial. The programme looks at practical and transformational ways of affording the GSR protetion, employing a ridge to reef approach, from sustainable landuse practices, influencing green lending policies, and working with the Fijian government for legal protection of this important reef system.
Five of the seven known species of turtles migrate through Fiji waters. These ancient wanderers forage and feed and nest in several islands especially along the Great Sea Reef. Since 2010, WWF-Pacific has built a strong network of community based turtle monitors, who were one time hunters of this iconic creature.
Mali Fiji Communuty Development Programme
We are trialling district level qoliqoli management with the people of Mali district in Macuata with the financial support of the Australian Government’s Fiji Community Development Programme. The essence of this programme includes empowering residents of Mali district especially in the four villages Ligaulevu, Vesi, Matailabasa, Nakawaga with the setup of proper governance structures, knowledge of business skills, income management and alternative livelihood sources to alleviate the pressure sustained on marine resources.
Sustainable Sugar Programme
We are working with cane farmers in Labasa, north of Fiji on Vanua Levu to set up model cane farms that adopt best farming practices that reduces chemical and soil runoffs, absorbed by rivers and creeks that wind their way down to sea. These runoffs are seen to be causing harm to reef systems especially the Great Sea Reef. Lessons from these model farms will be shared across the 3,000 strong cane farming community.