Leadership Fiji’s Community Fund donates drone to National Trust of Fiji

Leadership Fiji’s Community Fund donates drone to National Trust of Fiji

By Krishneel Nair
Monday 24/10/2022
[Photo: Supplied/Leadership Fiji]

Leadership Fiji’s Community Fund has handed a DJI Mavic 3 drone to the National Trust of Fiji to use the technology for monitoring and management of the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park under the thematic area of Sustainable Community Environmental Projects.

The drone was funded through LFCF which manages funding from past Leadership Fiji groups, organisations, donors and philanthropists in the efforts of making a positive social impact on Fiji’s communities.

While handing over the drone the LFCF Chair, Rajesh Patel says they are pleased to facilitate the drone for NTF and commends NTF on the exceptional work they are doing in protecting Fiji’s biodiversity and the benefits nature brings to people.

Patel says for them, conservation is important, especially as heritage sites such as Sigatoka Sand Dunes provide clues to our past and how society has evolved.

He says as they progress to the future, the land is cleared, to make way for new developments, and for this reason, they need to make equal strides in protecting such areas.

Patel also says he was pleased the drone can assist NTF in effectively monitoring the Park and boundaries in tracking the spread of invasive plant species, wildfire damage assessment, litter encroachment, seed planting success, poaching areas, illegal sand mining and other areas.

The Director of the National Trust of Fiji, Elizabeth Erasito says the impacts of the global pandemic experienced over the past two years were also felt at the park.

Erasito says reduced funding resources and loss of staff has affected the NTF’s ability to effectively monitor and manage the park.

She says the drone enables them to utilize aerial surveillance as a relatively risk free, low cost and sustainable way to rapidly and systemically monitor the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park and other areas that NTF manages.

Erasito also thanked LFCF for including the commercial drone pilot certification for their GIS Officer.

She adds this was to ensure they are compliant with the drone regulations of Fiji.

Erasito advised LFCF that the drone was successfully used to monitor and capture images of the adjacent rubbish dump which has started to spill over onto protected land.

She further says the evidence had been sent to the Ministry of Local Government which has assured NTF that necessary action will be taken to resolve this.

The LFCF Committee is made up of Leadership Fiji Alumni members and to date has made a financial contribution of $123,000 covering 21 projects from all around Fiji across nine thematic areas in the last two years

The Leadership Fiji Community Fund is currently taking applications for funding in the following areas of; Child Development, Education, Food & Nutrition, Animal Protection, Development and Protection of Women and families, Leadership Training, Promoting Democracy, Free exchange of ideas/knowledge and Sustainable Community Environmental Projects.

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