13 Nov 2014

Urgent efforts underway to stop Pacific beach erosion

4:23 pm on 13 November 2014

Pacific Island nations are turning to low-cost and common-sense measures as part of increasing efforts to stop or even reverse the erosion of local beaches.

A Tuvalu beach being eroded by a storm.

A Tuvalu beach being eroded by a storm. Photo: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme has just finished strengthening a beach in Vava'u, Tonga, with funding from the Australian government.

A spokesperson for the programme, Paul Anderson, says staff are using techniques developed by the University of Tasmania that have already been tested in Samoa, Vanuatu and Kiribati.

He says that includes fencing to stop livestock grazing, replanting of coastal vegetation, and getting the community involved.

"For many of the coastlines in the Pacific beautiful, white, sandy beaches are a major attraction and asset and in those areas where they want to maintain a natural look and a natural-functioning beach, this is a really good method."

Paul Anderson says the techniques are designed to be cheap, achievable and easily managed by local communities.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs