Protected Areas

Protected areas are an important tool for biodiversity conservation and maintaining ecosystem services that are critical for communities’ food security, livelihoods, well-being, and cultural identity and practice. Networks of forest, freshwater and marine protected areas embedded in larger managed landscapes and seascapes can also provide safe havens or refuges to climate change and natural disasters. Well-designed and managed protected area networks can improve the health of ecosystems, reduce biodiversity loss and provide benefits to the people who depend upon them.

No protected area system could be established or managed without the participation and involvement of people. In Fiji, many of these protected areas are set up by Indigenous communities with customary land-sea rights through traditional management systems such as tabus. The majority of tabus in Fiji are temporary for fixed periods of time extending from 3 months to 10 years. However, some are permanent in the case of the two largest in Fiji, the Namena Marine Reserve and Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park, drawing in tourists from around the world. There is an increasing number of marine and terrestrial protected areas that have been established through conservation agreements or payments for ecosystem services schemes in Fiji, providing win-win solutions for people and nature.



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