Fiji’s Youth planted 744 mangrove seedlings to protect their iqoliqoli. “These children will be champions in the management of our resources in the years to come.”

Young custodians of Navuniivi Village in Ra, Fiji Islands will proudly watch the growth of the 744 mangrove seedlings they planted after the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the guidance of one of the village youth and Yaubula committee members Laisiasa Mocevakaca, 35 children from the village with ages ranging from 2 to 16 took part in the planting of the seedlings along their village foreshore.

“These children will be champions in the management of our resources in the years to come. We targeted them for this activity because they will be leaders of our village tomorrow,” said Laisiasa Mocevakaca, who led the mangrove planting activity.

“They will not want to cut these mangroves because they were involved in its planting. It will always have a place in their hearts so it will surely hurt them should someone tries to cut them down. They also understand that these mangroves will be a nursery for baby fish as the health of our iqoliqoli is declining and it will also act as breakers during strong storms.”

The proudest in the village was the grandfather of three-year-old Ioane Manasa.

“The involvement of my grandson is the biggest sermon in years to come and I am so happy for the involvement of these children who will be future leaders and good decision-makers for our natural resources in the years to come,” he said.

Laisiasa said they are thankful to the Organisation for Industrial, Spiritual, Cultural, and Advancement (OISCA) for assisting them with the seedlings and the children are looking forward to the next mangrove planting.

This story was originally published at the 4FJ Movement on 28 March 2022.

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