Nasese residents are once again raising concerns about the importance of keeping the foreshore clean and the mangroves intact as they took part in cleaning the foreshore and collected signatures for a petition to stop the destruction of the last significant mangrove forest.
Many bags of rubbish including beer bottles, styrofoam, cans, tyres, plastic bags, fridge door, plastic bottles and caps, lighters and even a couch were found on the beach.
The residents are collecting signatures to petition to the government to rescind the renewal of the five-year development lease issued to Tian Lun Investment Limited and protect the mangroves from destruction, in consultation with traditional qoliqoli owners, issue a Protection Order on the remaining Nasese mangrove area and its surrounds for conservation, recreational green space and educational purposes only and to halt further development on the Nasese Waters Project until the drainage within the development and its surrounds are rectified by the developer and relevant authorities.
Consultations on the proposed $600 million investment project along Queen Elizabeth Drive by Tian Lun Investment Limited has been deferred three times since last December.
Tian Lun Limited acquired the lease for the state land and state tiri land from the Director of Lands in 2018 for an integrated hotel and tourism development.
Save the Tiri Movement made up of Nesese residents organised the clean up and are collecting signatures for the petition.
A Nasese resident and one of the organisers of Save the Tiri Movement, Noa Seru says their main concern is the lack of consultation with the residents on the development that is underway.
He says the biggest impact because of the developments is the flooding of roads and people's backyards in Nasese.
He says the proposed development at the Nasese Waters is going to make it worse as mangroves have been removed.
He says because of this there is nowhere for the storm water to drain off to so during heavy rain, the water coming from Flagstaff and Domain goes to the Nasese area.
Another Nasese resident, Marita Manley says mangroves play an important role in helping to regulate waterways and helping to provide nurseries for crabs and fish and there are also a lot of people who come and fish in the area.
BirdLife International Regional Programme Coordinator, Mark O'Brien says the Nasese area has the best intertidal area in Fiji and probably the Pacific.
He says it has an interesting and globally important bird population.
O'Brien says if the mangroves are destroyed, the bird population will decline and highlighted that there are three or four birds that are endemic to Viti Levu and use that area.
Children also took part in bird watching activities this morning.
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