Table 12: Responses to value statements
Percentage of respondents
It is not important to protect/conserve forest biodiversity 0%
Money is more important during logging than ensuring
If a portion of mataqali land is reserved, my household
livelihood will be badly affected
Social cohesion in the village is strong
Women and youths are part of decision making in the
The respondents were then asked what they thought about the creation of a
protected area of some sort within the Greater Delaikoro Area. Most respondents
stated that creating a protected area would be a good idea, with 85% supporting it.
Only 8% thought it was a bad idea while the remaining 7% mentioned it was up to
the mataqali chiefs to decide, a response that reflects upon the Fijian social structure
and system of revering those in authority. When asked why they favored the
creation of a protected area, the following reasons were given:
Conserve natural resources
Conserve of the environment for future generation,
Develop tourism opportunities such as the Waisali Forest Reserve
Protect water-head sources,
Reasons not to create the protected area included the loss of crops and restricted
access to forest resources
, as well as the loss of hunting areas, and therefore less bush
The survey also gave participants an opportunity to make recommendations from
their own perspective. The survey team used these and their general understanding
of the proposed project to advance a number of next steps in an effort to advise
Intensify awareness raising programs:
to influence a positive shift in attitudes and
ducational programs are needed to raise awareness on the ecological roles
and importance of the Greater Delaikoro Area to community livelihoods.
Develop and implement community natural resource management plans:
survey found out that there are some resource management strategies and
agreements already in place in some of the study sites. Scaling-up this effort to cover
all communities within the Greater Delaikoro Area is important to ensure the
sustainability of this important region.
Formulate by-laws: t
community natural resource management plan,
by-laws need to be formulated and enacted to give legal power for compliance and
Demarcate boundaries and create buffer zones: w
ith the support of the relevant
stakeholders, efforts should be made to demarcate areas of biological importance in
the Greater Delaikoro Area from community and mataqali land. Once these
boundaries have been demarcated, then buffers zones can be put in place as a way to
reinforce the ‘respect’ for those boundaries.
Conduct a needs assessment:
the current level of reliance on agriculture for
community livelihoods is too overwhelming and in most areas the footprint can be
seen. The high demand for agricultural resources coupled with the increase in
population in communities is a risk to the area’s ecosystem carrying capacity which
could lead to resource degradation, reduced production, poor community health
and aggravated poverty. Therefore, an assessment of community needs should be
undertaken to determine how such needs can be addressed without further
degrading natural resources.
Factor in rural livelihood and poverty:
there is a need to promote alternative
sustainable resource-based and non-resource-based activities to reduce rural
poverty, while at the same time easing the pressure on resources.
: the survey revealed that formal education levels of most of
the people in the study sites are generally low. Information needs to be tailored to
suit the audience, with an emphasis on direct communication methods such as
attending village meetings
, radio communication
, and posters in the local languages.
Protected area and access:
It is clear that most of the people living around the
Greater Delaikoro Area would be willing to have some form of protected area
created for the forest and resources in the region. It is also clear that they would also
want to have some form of access to forest products which we have shown are an
important part of their livelihoods. The types of access that will be allowed will need
to be discussed and agreed upon. For instance, will wild pig hunting be allowed to
continue – will it be allowed throughout the forest or will hunting areas be
designated? The same discussions are needed for other products, such as timber
harvesting, wild ferns and others.
In all biological surveys a gasp of taxonomy
, and the ability to not only recognise but
identify organisms is of the utmost importance. Without this understanding and
knowledge the study or survey is incomplete. Unsurprisingly, the majority of
resource/landowners know very little of what they have in their remote forests,
beyond the plants and animals that are consumed or used in day-to-day living.
Hence the opportunity was taken to include them in the surveys so as to provide
some basic training in taxonomy and survey methodology, whilst this work was
carried out on their land.
A capacity building training program on developing and improving taxonomical
expertise for resources and landowners and personnel from Fiji’s departments of
Forestry and Fisheries was also implemented during this survey. More precisely the
para-taxonomic training is for selected members of the landowning units and other
community members (who were used as local guides and porters) in the area of
botany, vegetation ecology, herpetology, ornithology, archeology, freshwater
ichthyology and entomology (terrestrial and freshwater).
Each trainee was initially given the opportunity to choose whatever area of training
they would like to undergo. The detailed description of the survey methodologies is
outlined in the methodology sections of the relevant chapters of this report. For this
section of the report a short summary of who the trainer and trainers wer,e and what
sort of training was carried out is summarized.
A total of sixteen people received training during the survey work. The trainees
were selected based on their active involvement in the utilization of their natural
resources as a means for economic development and/or for livelihood. Six of the
trainees were personnel from Forestry Department, one was from the Fisheries
Department and the remaining nine were resource owners and landowners from the
The table below lists the persons who were trained, the village or institutions they
represented and has a brief summary of the type of training or upskilling that they
Table 13 List of trainees for the Greater Mt Delaikoro proposed protected area survey
Botanical and vegetation surveys.
identification. Habitat types.
Plots & transect layout, tree
PSP survey methods – tree
PSP survey methods – tree
Forest ecology, status of forest
due to impacts, indicator species,
invasive alien species presence
Colo I Suva -
Ornithology- bird identification
and survey techniques, catching
and handling birds using Mist
nets and botany (plots and tree
Ornithology – bird identification
and survey techniques, catching
and handling birds using Mist
Bird survey techniques and
botanical survey. Identification of
common tree species
Herpetofauna surveys – survey
common reptiles and amphibians
Entomology survey – light traps,
Entomology survey techniques.
General groups (taxonomy) of
insects. Collection methods.
Archaeological survey methods.
Identification features of sites in
Archaeological survey methods.
Identification features of sites in
techniques in local communities.
Para taxonomy in Botany and Ecology
Trainers: Marika Tuiwawa -botanist and ecologist; Sarah Pene – Invasive species.
The group did opportunistic collections of higher vascular plants that were fruiting
and or had flowers. Botanical naming systems were explained and discussions held
to document and record the common names generally used in Fiji, as well as the
local Macuata dialect.. For the ecological component the group and the trainees used
plots (10 m x 10 m) to quantitatively assess tree biomass in selected forest types.
Some trainees also assisted in processing specimens as herbarium voucher materials.
During this activity finer taxonomic details were discussed, which included leaf,
fruit and flower morphology characterisations, as well as discussion on growth,
habit form and distribution. When other landowners were present discussions on the
uses (including traditional uses) of certain plant species were also held.
Trainers: Hilda Waqa
, Bindya Raksha and Apaitia Liga - entomologists
The group and the trainees targeted a diversity of habitats (slopes, flats, ridges and
riparian areas) and vegetation types (lowland and upland systems within primary,
secondary and native forests) to carry out the survey. The trainees learned how to
use a variety of collection techniques that included active surveys (UV light traps,
leaf litter sampling, winkler bags sticky tapes) as well as opportunistic surveys
(using hand held nets and a Surber sampler). For the opportunistic surveys the
trainees learned how to capture wild butterflies, damsel flies, mayflies, stick insects,
cicadas, beetles and freshwater invertebrates and for some of the larger insects
caught they were taught the local and common names. Later at the base camp some
basic preservation techniques were carried out with the trainees. Discussions on the
conservation significance of some of these species were also carried out between the
trainee and trainer.
Avifauna and Mammal Parataxonomy Training
Trainer: Alivereti Naikatini – Bird and mammal specialist
The trainee joined the avifauna group to survey birds and bats encountered along
tracks, areas accessible by dirt roads and locally known bat roosts. The survey
methods used included the point count method (for both bats and birds), mist
netting in open high areas for bats at night and birds in the early mornings, bat
detector surveys in the evenings, opportunistic surveys through observations using
binoculars and recognizing bird calls and from interviews with local community
More than 45 bird and three bat species were documented during the survey. Both
the local and generic common names were given for the birds and for the later the
trainees played a key role in providing these names (usually after consulting other
guides). For this group the trainee presented a brief summary of their findings
during a debriefing workshop at the end of the survey.
Trainer: Nunia Thomas - herpetologist
The trainee joined the herpetofauna group to assist with diurnal and nocturnal
herpetofauna surveys, opportunistic visual encounter surveys, standardized sticky
trap transects and standardized (time constrained) nocturnal visual encounter
surveys. For all herpetofauna collected from these surveys the trainee was
familiarized with the most distinguishable feature typical of each species to enable
him to correctly distinguish different species fror each other. The trainee co-
presented a brief summary of the findings of the herpetofauna survey during a
debriefing workshop at the end of the survey.
Freshwater Fish Training
Trainers: Lekima Copeland and Kinikoto Mailautoka – Freshwater fish specialists
The trainees were taught the use of equipment to collect physiochemical data from
the field. They were also involved in using field methods that were designed to
enable the most comprehensive documentation of fishes present in the tributaries,
including beach seine and snorkeling. Overall a total of eighteen species of fish from
six families were directly observed or collected and local names were also discussed
with trainees and documented.
Archaeological Survey Training
Trainers: Elia Nakoro and Sakiusa Kataiwai – Archeology specialist
The trainees were elderly village guides and through dsicussions with them on oral
histories and their knowledge of the area, areas of interest were identified and
located. Information regarding these areas was also discussed and verified with
other elders in the village before it was documented. A total of 11 new sites were
It is envisaged that the inclusion and exposure of trainees in the survey will not only
broaden their recognition and knowledge about these natural resource, but would
also assist in the dissemination of this information to members of the greater
community that they come from.
Recommendations specific to the individual components of the study have been
included at the end of each section of this report. Below is an overview of the general
recommendations that have been elicited as a result of this study.
The survey has shown that the area is of high biodiversity value and it is
recommended that it be accorded a protected status, however, further work is
required to fully clarify certain species identifications and to more thoroughly
document species range extensions throughout the entire proposed protected area.
the surveys of all the major taxonomic groups showed that the areas surveyed
contained high species diversity, including both national and island endemics,
many of which either already have protection status, or would be deserving of
some new finds and range extensions highlight the high possibility that the full
scope of the biodiversity has not been fully described, and that further work will
reveal an ever greater scope of biodiversity.
It is recommended that a community awareness program ensure that
communities are appraised of the significant findings of the surveys, and
highlights the ecological roles and importance of the Greater Delaikoro Area to
The types of access to the protected area that will be allowed to communities
will need to be discussed and agreed upon.
The medium of community awareness-raising needs to be tailored to suit the
audience, with an emphasis on direct communication methods such as attending
village meetings, radio communication, and posters in the local languages.
Some factors to take into consideration when considering the protection of the
Ecological connectivity: catchment headwaters must be a protection priority
to ensure the health of habitats in downstream areas of the catchments.
Agricultural encroachment poses a significant threat to high-biodiversity
areas, in particular in forested areas subjected to slash-and-burn clearing, or
in riparian areas that lack a buffer zone between the waterway and
agricultural or pastoral land.
Invasive species control and/or monitoring should be a component of any
proposal for the designation and long-term management of a proposed
An evaluation of existing resource management strategies and agreements in
place in some parts of the study area should be undertaken, including the
potential to upscale these to cover all communities within the proposed
Once the protected area boundary has been demarcated, buffer zones can be
put in place as a way to reinforce ‘respect’ for that boundary.
Further survey work required for a more comprehensive biodiversity assessment:
Additional survey work would cover a greater proportion of the proposed
protected area, and thus ensure that recommendations for the boundary
delimitations are based on a wider sampling range.
More work is needed to confirm identifications of sampled species, and to ensure
as comprehensive a species checklist as possible. Some species known to occur in
the area were not sampled due to their seasonality, weather conditions at the
time of the survey, or the highly restricted nature of their range, therefore
additional survey time is necessary to get a current confirmation of their
presence. Additional survey time would also yield more confirmed
identifications with additional collections of flowering and fruiting material or
different life stages of the organism.
The current survey provided a snapshot of biodiversity at the sampling sites.
However, surveys over longer time periods would be necessary to get more
comprehensive data on species population size and density, their complete
geographical ranges and ecological requirements. It is this information that is
required for long-term monitoring of the ecological health of a protected area,
and the evaluation of the effectiveness of protection.