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Kelly Bently, Coordinator for the ManFightback after Winston

SINCE Tropical Cyclone Winston made its brutal landfall in the country last year, Fiji has doubled its efforts to building back better and tripled its commitment to combat climate change. Keeping in mind the Paris agreement, individuals and organizations both have since then re-affirmed the importance of sustaining and restoring healthy ecosystems, including coastal areas, particularly for climate adaption purposes. Leadership Fiji 2016 (LF2016) and Mangrove for Fiji in this same spirit joined hands in establishing a mangrove restoration project for Malake Island that had to bear the brunt of the storm last year.

In August last year, the two teams visited Malake Island and built a 1000 propagule nursery. Following that, they made a second visit to the island this year and planted a new record of 6085 mangrove propagules along the coastline. Fiji Leadership 2016 representative James Pridgeon said the team chose Malake to initiate the project with because Ra was one of the badly affected areas during the storm.

“Malake is the biggest village in the Province of Ra. They are still rebuilding their homes and lives 15 months later,” he said.

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