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Tuvalu Mangrove Planting

Mangrove planting project in Nanumea atoll.

 

Conservation benefit: Establishment of a two-acre lagoon-based mangrove nursery/reserve and planting of 1,000 mangrove seedlings along a one-kilometer (.62-mile) coastline for 10 years.

Community benefit: Refurbishment of a handicraft center.

 

This remote, small island nation is located in the South Pacific about 813 miles south of Tarawa, Kiribati and 638 miles north of Suva, Fiji. Its nine atolls have a total land area of under 10 square miles with the highest elevation above sea level of only 16 feet. A major threat to Tuvalu’s subsistence is the degradation of both land and marine resources. Sea level rise caused by climate change is a major contributor to this degradation and loss of biodiversity and natural resources.

 

Mangroves are an important resource here. They enhance local fisheries, provide material for handicrafts and firewood, and protect the islands from tidal and storm surge. The Tuvalu National Council of Women (TNCW) has long recognized the importance of mangroves and the need for better lagoon and coastal protection for Tuvalu’s small atoll islands.

 

TNCW, together with the Tuvalu Association of Non-Government Organizations (TANGO), has proposed an expansion project for the outer islands to replant mangroves and seedlings of Beauty Leaf Laurel in areas threatened by coastal erosion. Community members would like to refurbish their existing handicraft center by adding two rooms to use for training, meetings, and handicraft production. The project will also engage women and youth in planting a two-acre lagoon-based mangrove nursery/reserve. A one-kilometer stretch of coastline will be planted to protect the main village area on Nanumea.

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