These Mangrove Management Plans, written in 1985 by one of Fiji’s foremost terrestrial biologists, Dr Dick Watling, while not formulated into law in the Fiji Islands, remain the only comprehensive study of Fiji’s mangrove areas available.
Together these plans comprised over 15,000 ha or about 35% of Fiji’s mangroves.
Maps were prepared of the mangrove resource with the mangroves allocated to alliances (dominant species’ associations which characterised the mangroves of the area and their assumed productivity). Separate maps were then prepared with a zonation overlay.
A hierarchical designation of zones was proposed so as to allow a degree of flexibility with the ‘Managed’ and ‘Development’ designated zones whilst affording maximum protection for the majority of the resource (Table 1 and Figure 2).
The overall purpose of the plan and the zoned maps was to provide the Mangrove Management Committee and Department of Lands with a framework for decision-making when development applications were received or when departmental licensing for specific purposes i.e. mangrove harvesting for timber.
The maps were also shown to developers to focus their attention on the need or not to convert mangroves, and/or direct their attention to more suitable sites.
Mangrove Zonation in the Mangrove Management Plan for Fiji 1985/86.
Primary – Mangrove Reserve
- Resource Reserve
- National Reserve
Secondary – Managed Resource
- Traditional Use
- Wood Production
- Shoreline Protection
Tertiary – Development Zone
- Sewage Treatment
- Effluent Processing
- Urban Development
- Tourism Development
- Agriculture Development