What impact have you had on your clients and the tourism sector?
Through community consultation workshops facilitated by WWF South Pacific Programme Office, the communities within Malomalo district were able to come up with a community management plan and identify alternative livelihood options based on their knowledge of their natural resources, land capability and traditional ways of doing things. This allows the community to claim ownership of their management plan and activities that improve their livelihoods and guarantee sustainability and conserve their wetlands, coastal and marine resources.
Garden-Movers activities will empower community members to find alternative sources of livelihood and income generating activities that is environmentally friendly and economically viable. Women are engaged and empowered to be leaders and contribute to decision making in community development and resource management. Women gain knowledge on how to grow their vegetables/ root crops and rear livestock organically, develop their artistic skills through reviving their traditional art of craft-making that is slowly disappearing as well as develop business and financial management skills. The farm produces and their traditional crafts were then sold to neighboring hotels, tourists, hotel workers and municipal markets for income.
As mentioned previously, this project is targeted at redressing the issue of loss of income and environmental degradation from the banning of live-rock trade in Malomalo and unsustainable logging thus preventing the community from regressing back to dependence on these unsustainable practices.
Community Consultation Workshops to assist the community:
- develop a community vision that is reflective of their existing resource use principle and expectations for viable and sustainable economic alternatives
- development of a management plan to set up their marine protected area
- develop land use capability assessment and community awareness on effective land-use practices
- women’s groups gather support/demonstrate opportunities for them to engage in viable and productive sustainable agricultural activities to meet household subsistence needs and allow economic return, restoration and reforestation of degraded land and reviving the art of traditional handicraft weaving
- develop skills in small businesses and financial management with National Center for Micro-Enterprise and Development
- access and maintain market base
- utilize the materials obtained through the consultative workshops to develop awareness materials for other local communities on how to start such initiatives
- train women’s groups to facilitate the setting up of such initiatives in other communities
- Malomalo Community Vision reflecting community resource use that is environmentally and economically viable and sustainable
- Establishment of Malomalo District Community Management Plan
- Land-Use Capability Assessment identified sustainable forestry as a long term option for income earning, coastline protection and restoration/reforestation of degraded land
- 35 participants within Malomalo district were trained by the National Center for Small Micro-Enterprises and Development and development of a marketing strategy
- Women’s group trained in agro-forestry system and applications and setting up of a native-tree nursery to rehabilitate the coastline and degraded non-arable lands
- Establishment of a 1 acre Model Farm with the assistance of Ministry of Agriculture
What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.
- continuous capacity building of Malomalo women’s group in terms of program management and implementation, leadership roles, and monitoring and evaluation
- strengthening of network of partners and stakeholders to support Malomalo community
- training of the community in vegetable farming environmentally friendly techniques and producing good quality crops for the tourism market
- refresher courses for the women’s group in terms of business and financial management
- sales of vegetables to be re-invested into the project funds
- strengthening of networks between relevant Government departments, Provincial Office, NGOs, Financial Institutions, Hotel Industry and Tour Operators
- facilitation of conflict resolution workshops to empower community members to adequately resolve conflict issues within the district that could threaten the success of the project
- continuous environmental awareness programmes
- setting up of a business plan and financial management plan for Malomalo
- up-scaling of farming to meet the demands of the nearby Intercontinental Hotel in terms of quota
- setting up of village tours with tour operators to showcase and sell village handicrafts
- an increase in returns of sales of organic vegetables and handicrafts to InterContinental Hotel
- continuous reforestation of degradable land with native tree species
- Garden movers is going to form a strong network amongst the 8 Women’s groups between the 8 villages within the district
- Up-scaling of vegetable farms and handicrafts amongst the 8 villages within the district to sell to other hotels and municipal markets to increase revenue
- Sell their skills to other districts within Fiji by facilitating the set up of similar initiatives
What would prevent your project from being a success?
- The continued economic downfall/recession affects the travel market and the buying power of local customers due to loss of employment and increase in cost of living
- Complexity of land ownership is an obstacle to acquiring land lease titles for the up-scaling of proposed farming activities. Native land is owned by all clan members and approval of land lease for such a project requires the approval of all clan members. Due to conflicting interests between all members, there is difficulty in acquiring the land lease title.
- Fiji is currently ruled by a military regime where the political climate is very unpredictable. This can deter investors, possible donors and affect the economy and tourism industry which will consequently affect the conservation efforts and success of this project
- Located along the coast, Malomalo district is exposed to the extremes of weather such as increase in frequency of cyclones, storm surges and droughts which can affect the progress of the project
- Lack of mitigation strategies to address and monitor risks associated with the implementation of the project