Mangrove Monday is a returning event at Ventura every week. An event where you can expect to get your hands dirty but for a reason that is worth all the sweat and all the hours.
The mangrove forests have during the last 20 years experienced a drastic fall which leads to a lot of concerns. This is because the forest not only serves as a shield from tsunamis and storms for coastal villages but also because the mangrove forest is the most important habitat for shark reproduction. The whole underwater worlds well-being and food chain depend on the mangroves.
This is the reason why we at Project Abroad Fiji Shark Conservation not are afraid of getting our hands or volunteer t-shirts dirty. The Mangroves not only serve as a shield for humans but also for baby sharks and in that sense is the thing that connects land and sea, humans and the marine life.
Two days ago we finished the biggest mangrove nursery in the South Pacific and maybe in the whole world. We planted 250 Propagules so the nursery now houses around 18.000 mangroves. A big moment for Mangroves for Fiji which includes all the volunteers that have come and gone and have put a lot of effort into helping the mangrove replanting project as well as current volunteers.
This nursery has created a foundation for many mangroves to come and therefore we are also working on making all of our nurseries bigger. During the last weeks we have visited different schools where we in different ways are trying to create awareness about the mangroves. Last Monday we went to Pacific Harbour Multicultural School where we replanted around 300 propagules. It was rainy and muddy but you could feel the teamwork between the volunteers and you could see within two weeks how the Propagules planted had exploded with green leaves. You realize that the work you have done actually makes a difference and will stay and help Fiji when you leave.
We also gave the local children an insight into the reasons we need to protect, replant and conserve the mangroves. We had the honor of visiting a local primary school for an hour to talk about the mangrove forest and the sharks. We prepared a presentation and the pupils were very interested and quick learners. We left the school with a good feeling and working together with locals is the most important part in saving the mangroves on Fiji. At the same school we also took a whole day off and went to the school all volunteers to paint a white wall which became a wonderful day for both us and the volunteers!
VINAKA VAKALEVU to everyone around the project and in Fiji!!!