Planting native trees to feature in Fiji’s new biodiversity park.
Fiji has established its first biodiversity park at Kalokolevu village outside Lami about 27 km west of the capital Suva.
The park envelops four acres of land, with a combination of gravel and natural walkway tracks for individuals who desire to have a walk leading through a gentle incline to an area with a breathtaking view of Suva Harbour.
Fiji’s Minister for Environment Dr Mahendra Reddy said setting up the biodiversity park was in line with the government’s effort to establish 50 more around the island nation this year.
“There are places on earth that are both biologically rich and deeply threatened and we must consciously work to conserve and protect them and build resilience amongst our biological resources for our future generation,” Dr Reddy said.
The Kalokolevu biodiversity park includes native trees, a play park for kids and extra-curricular infrastructures for the villagers that will attract communities and motivate them to set up similar parks in their villages.
It will also serve as a forest reserve where youths of Kalokolevu will be encouraged to plant a diverse range of native tree species such as dakua, makadre, vesi and koka.
“There is an additional advantage of having a biodiversity park, apart from a reserve, you have additional resources, infrastructure to get people to spend time with nature and appreciate it within Fiji and outside of Fiji.
He said the current system failed to value biodiversity adequately.
“We have to take immediate effects to stem the loss and degradation of biodiversity otherwise we will forgo the opportunities of deriving its full potential benefit for humankind.
“This biodiversity park is a small step towards the final destination of protecting our biological resources and the need to undertake advocacy, awareness and education.”
“We are facing climate change threats, extreme weather and natural events and all of these dimensions of climate change takes a toll on our biodiversity stock,” said Dr Reddy.
In the next 12 months, the government through the Ministry of environment will spearhead the setting up of 49 biodiversity parks in other divisions in Fiji.