Measures are taken to restore the biodiversity of the Tagabe River ecosystem.
If urgent remedial measures are not taken soon to restore the biodiversity of the Tagabe river ecosystem supplying fresh water to a population of over 50,000 in Port Vila and its suburbs, there is a very high risk that Port Vila will face severe water problems in the not-so-distant future.
Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity (MALFFB), Moses Amos, made this clear when he was speaking on behalf of Minister Willie Daniel Kalo during the recent launch of the Tagabe River Nursery Facility.
Construction of the nursery boundary fence, new potting shed, purchase of seedling benches and the raising of seedlings was assisted by the German-funded Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change Project (PEBACC), a climate change initiative being implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
SPREP Representative, Sunny Seuseu, said the overarching objective of the Tagabe river restoration project is to balance Vanuatu’s economic development with social and environmental values and not to jeopardize environment biodiversity in the process.
“And in so doing adapt to climate change impacts, using nature-based solutions. These activities respond directly with Vanuatu’s 2030 People’s Plan, under the Environment Pillar,” he said.
Tagabe River is one of the handful sites that is most severely impacted by issues related to climate change and other complex social issues, DG Amos stressed.
PEBACC project sites include Port Vila and Port Resolution in Tanna.
It’s often these high-density areas where there is a significant alteration of ecosystems and is often overlooked, said Seuseu.
Forestry Officer, Judy Kalotap, said the Department of Forestry will be raising a diverse species of plants in the nursery, from coastal to wetland including fruits and commercial species.
She said for the first time ever in Vanuatu, they will be introducing the propagation of mangroves in the nursery.
“The mangroves will be taken to rehabilitate the Tagabe river ecosystem and other demands.
“Mangroves sustain livelihoods and are home to marine lives. Communities are cutting down mangroves but are not replanting it,” she stressed.
Apart from local destruction, mangroves are also under threat due to climate change.
The construction of the Tagabe River Nursery Facility was done by Jerry Vira Construction.