Ensuring the survival of Fiji’s coral reefs involves creating a sustainable, circular economy, bringing together the necessary resources, and putting in place the right policies.
The Fijian Government is collaborating with the United Nations and the private sector to support Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and develop new "reef-firs"’ business activities.
Through the Investing in Coral Reefs and the Blue Economy programme, funded by the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) and the Joint SDG Fund, support is being channelled to expand and diversify reef-positive action.
GFCR joint programme in Fiji launched in early 2021. Led by the UN Fiji Country Office, it leverages philanthropic and development finance to mobilise commercial investments, promote financial sustainability of coral reef conservation, and accelerate “reef-positive” livelihoods.
Support is being channelled to the Beqa Adventure Divers (BAD) to assess the impacts of overfishing and poaching in the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, protecting and repopulating marine species in the Reserve such as endangered clams, and restoring corals and mangroves.
Declared as a Marine Protected Area, Fiji’s first since 2014, the Shark Reef Marine Reserve is dedicated to researching and preserving local shark populations.
The Beqa Adventure Divers organization has had a long and fruitful relationship with Galoa Village and plays a crucial role in safeguarding the Marine Protected Area. It supports enforcement and employs Galoan villagers as commercial divers, creating additional livelihoods for local communities.
The village’s youth are part of an unbroken chain of seafarers, with village elders passing down traditional knowledge. For Berenado Vunibobo, the village headman, fishing is an intrinsic part of Galoa. As he puts it, “generations have come and gone, and the coral reef system has sustained them all”.