On a bright sunny day on 01 March waves gently roll onto the shore while youth volunteers of the World Wildlife for Nature (WWF) Pacific gather at My Suva Park in Nasese, Suva, Fiji Islands to celebrate World Seagrass Day.

Dr Shalini Singh, Assistant Professor in Fisheries, College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry at Fiji National University (FNU) actively engaged with young participants to raise awareness and advocate for the protection of seagrass ecosystems. She emphasised the critical importance of seagrass conservation and management in the Pacific region.

Youths gather to learn about the seagrass ecosystem

Dr Singh and team presenting seagrass and its restoration method

Volunteers share what they learnt about seagrass

Brainstorming before artivism starts

Artivism in the process

Artivism activity completes

Wrapping up

Ulaiasi Matakaiwai, an Environmental Science student at the University of the South Pacific (USP) said he gained a valuable understanding of the critical importance of seagrasses in marine ecosystems and was enlightened to discover the distinctions between seaweeds and seagrasses.

“I’ve always considered all seaweeds as some sort of similar to the same family as seagrass, but this morning, I was able to know that they are of two different things seaweed and seagrass,” Matakaiwai said.

He said as Fiji grapples with ongoing climate challenges, the discussion centered on leveraging locally managed marine protected areas and traditional conservation practices to preserve these invaluable resources.

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