Safety Workshop and Environmental Awareness Campaign in Fiji
May 30 2011
A safety workshop and environmental awareness campaign were organized by the staffs of OISCA-Fiji on the 12th, 19th and 26th of May targeting the villagers who are involved in the Coral Reef Restoration Project of OISCA in 38 sites located in the coastal areas of Ra, Serua, Nadroga and Navosa Province. Aware of the risk involved during the project implementation, Mr. Masatoshi Ogi and Ms. Jocelyn Matunhay, OISCA Fiji National Coordinator, spearheaded a workshop with the objective of teaching the project site coordinators of the basic first aid and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and safety regulation guidelines to the people involve in the project.
Since 2002, OISCA has been working closely with the villagers, local officials and other community based organizations to restore and rehabilitate the coral reefs that have been damaged by pollution caused by the poor waste disposal, dynamite fishing and the illegal practice of coral poaching. With the financial support from Sumitomo Life Insurance Company, around 40,000 corals nurtured in the OISCA nurseries were transferred and transplanted in the OISCA coral sites managed by Mr. Sairusi Masi, Mr. Nauga Sikeli Tamani, Mr. Tevita Dakia and Mr. Peni Drodrolagi.
Equipped with experience and local knowledge on the nature of the sea especially the corals, Mr. Masi, Mr. Tamani, Mr. Dakia and Mr. Drodrolagi are conducting environmental campaigns to increase the awareness and encourage the involvement of the villagers. These campaigns somehow contributed to the increase in the number of the marine sanctuary in Fiji. Most of the coral sites under the OISCA projects are voluntarily declared as marine sanctuary by the villagers. To maintain these sanctuaries the local government officials of the villages crated a resolution that needs to be abided by the villagers including the execution of penalties to the violators.
To ensure the sustainability of the project, OISCA is coordinating with the Fisheries Department of Fiji and planning to introduce the proper way of culturing giant clams and other bivalves in the coral sites. This action will be another step in restoring the natural condition of the marine ecosystem which will support the everyday life of the villagers who depends on it. Few years after the project sites are become stable, OISCA intends to turn it over to the villagers for them to conserve and protect against destruction.