4 Nov 2009

Fiji's Environment Department wants tougher management of mangrove areas

8:58 am on 4 November 2009

The Department of Environment in Fiji says it expects to see tougher management of mangrove areas after it was found that the removal of mangroves helped contribute to the deadly January floods.

The mangroves had been removed along the Nadi River mouth for developments that included hotel resorts.

The Director of the Department of Environment, Epeli Nasome, says removing the mangroves effectively meant the flood absorption areas had been removed.

He says they are looking to to bring about a tougher policy for mangrove protection to apply to new developments.

"E specially for mangroves that are at the river mouths or are currently protecting coastlines from high energy waves erosion. It is hopeful that such a plan will actually identify areas that whereby the mangroves needs to be protected or conserved."

Epeli Nasome says there's a need for more monitoring to ensure that conditions of approvals for hotels have been complied with.