As amazing as Fiji’s natural beauty is, it’s environmental record could be improved.
As the population increased approximately 2500 years ago and moved inland, widespread burning and clearing of the land for agricultural use caused major erosion.
Since the mid 20 th century more forests have been cleared. This causes a ripple effect in which:
- Cleared rainforest patches are exposed to weeds and pests,
- Valuable topsoil washes into the sea which in turn kills coral which results in decreased fish species and the effect continues.
There are resorts and villages that utilise sustainable practices as they have realised that you must think for the future and not the short term. Visitors can inturn help by setting a positive example. As mentioned in Travelling Tips, always take your rubbish with you when in remote places. Fijian’s in villages still practice the burning method for disposing rubbish, unfortunately the modern day rubbish is not biodegradable and is often made up of plastic.
Fiji’s fresh water supply is not well managed. For tourists, the water in urban areas and hotels and resorts are generally okay but as mentioned in the Health category, to be extra cautious purchase bottled spring water. You can also boil your water if it is possible. Supply and quality in rural areas is poor and in some places is unfit for human consumption.
Certain fish species such as Tuna and Marlin are heavily and unsustainably fished so avoid these species. Destructive fishing techniques are still practiced in the Pacific today such as explosives, poisons and large drag nets without policing. Taking Coral for the aquarium and tourism industry still occurs so do the right thing and please don’t support these practices. Every person collectively can make a difference.
Check out the Nature Attractions section for eco-tourism projects in Fiji.
Conservation Groups in Fiji are
• World Wildlife Fund Ph: 331 55 33
• Greenpeace Ph: 331 28 61
Somme more readings
MONGOOSE IN FIJI?
If you are driving in Fiji and think you
just saw a huge rat run off the road,
it was probably the famous snake fighter –
the Mongoose. Thought to have been
brought to Fiji early last century by
indentured Indian cane workers.
Many people assume the beautiful
Frangipani tree(Bua) is native to Fiji, but
it was only introduced in the 19th century.
By choosing to stay at resorts that are
eco-friendly, you can help Indigenous
Fijians prosper while preserving their
natural assets for the future.
Always remember “Conserve Fiji today to preserve Fiji for tomorrow.”