The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and Vanuatu’s Department of Forestry this month signed a letter of agreement for the commencement of an urban forestry project in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Vanuatu’s Director of Forestry Department, Mr. Hannington Tate highlighted the importance of protecting riparian forests.
“These forests are the filters of our water, without them, the rivers would choke and die.” Mr Tate said.
SPREP’s Vanuatu Country Manager, David Loubser highlighted that the urban forestry component under the PEBACC project will include Tagabe River riparian restoration and the establishment of community based tree nurseries.
“Our aim is to intensify tree planting in and around Port Vila for urban greening, food trees and riparian/coastal protection. In addition, we want to increase people’s understanding of the propagation of tree crops such as natangura and pandanus.” Mr. Loubser said.
To ensure seedling availability, the project will support the establishment of a network of tree nurseries across the greater Port Vila region.
A specific component of the re-planting will focus on the Tagabe River banks and mouth.
“We look forward to working with the Blacksands community to revegetate the lower reaches of the Tagabe River banks as well as investigate and trial the re-establishment of mangroves at the river mouth.” Mr. Loubser added.
The signing of the agreement took place on 5 September at Blacksands community in the presence of SPREP and Forestry staff, Ifira Marine Management team representatives, representatives of the GEF funded SPC “Ridge to Reef” project and the chiefs of Blacksands who greatly welcomed the Tagabe River Catchment Management project. In addition to the urban forestry project, SPREP PEBACC is also supporting the Shefa Tanvasoko Area Council Youth Committee with a clean-up of the Tagabe River.
The clean-up will take place as part of World Clean Up and World Ozone Day hosted by the Vanuatu Department of Environmental Protection and Conservation.
For further information please contact:
Mr. David Loubser, PEBACC Vanuatu Country Manager [email protected]