Table 7: Site disturbance factors and threats within Delaikoro study area
These threats occur
naturally and cause
irreversible damage -
earthquakes, heavy rain
and erosion processes
contribute to changing
and shaping the natural
and cultural landscape.
All the sites documented the effects of natural
events on the remains of cultural heritage site
features. The dominant natural element affecting
the structures is heavy rain which leads to the
erosion of the edges of the house mounds,
infilling of fortification ditches and causeways.
Heavy rain also results in fluvial formation of rills
and gullies thus displacing stone alignment and
washing away the material remains.
These are threats that are
caused or related to
human inhabitance &
activities in and around
the area of study.
About 95% of the sites identified contained
human trails, for travelling between provinces or
for hunting and gathering.
These are threats that are
caused or related to
and inhabitation activities
specifically wild pigs
Pig hooves and snout trails covered about 60-
70% of the sites surveyed. Dog trails were also
encountered but pose little threat to the sites.
The eleven culturally significant sites encountered and documented during this
survey are widely distributed across the study area, five of which are within the
study area while four are located outside the study boundary. Since the Delaikoro
study boundary is vast and accessibility is hindered by rugged terrain, the
Archaeology team recommends that a thorough investigation be carried out by
utilising field guides. These guides, who frequent the study area as pig hunters and
food gatherers, could identify sites that are outstanding and noteworthy for
preservation and monitoring. A summary of the framework within which this
monitoring could occur is presented in Table 8.
Sites identified can be used for comparison of threats that affect cultural heritage
sites. The degradation of the sites will be examined every two years by using
traditional methods of site visitation and capturing still images of the area during
the period of the FAO program. Data from other teams such as aerial/satellite images
of the forest cover can also be a tool used for the process depending on data
Table 8: Indicators and monitoring plan for cultural sites
State of the sites
Assessing the current state of the sites
and monitor the changes through time
report every 2
Threats to the sites
Identifying the threats that affect the
state of the sites
Access to the sites
Choosing two sites for the assessment
of the above variables with access to
the site as comparison
Cultural valuation of
The two sites differ in cultural value
Remote sensing even though costly, could also be a useful tool to map out the
changes in the monitoring site by using laser-based sensors and radar in particular
Synthetic Aperture Radar to see the ground or surface changes or identify
According to several elders from the villages of Sueni, Nasealevu and Vunidogoloa,
the land belonging to the different mataqalis included in the Delaikoro study area is
rich in historical cultural material remains that have never been documented. The
historical remains are scattered all throughout the study area, most of which are
symbolic and associated with the old religious and superstitious beliefs of early hill
tribes of Vanua Levu.
The study of the cultural footprints within the Delaikoro study area is vital in
understanding the patterns and motivational factors related to inland migration:
why the early iTaukei people chose to live in such remoteness and rugged terrain,
socio-cultural relations and their responses to altering natural and climatic
Generally, the archaeological finds during this survey have considerable cultural
value to the local community and at national level. The significance of these sites can
be determined and derived by deconstructing the value of the individual sites into
the following components; aesthetic, symbolic, social, historic, authenticity and
spiritual values. All the sites identified include one of these values while some may
incorporate all, however an absent values does not lessen the significance of a site as
it holds the ancestral history of the hill tribes of Fiji.
Fiji has an ancient, complex and unique cultural heritage preserved in its
archaeological sites. Unfortunately much of this record has been carelessly destroyed
through human activity. The large scale of current and planned land development
activity in Fiji poses a great threat to remaining sites. Preservation activities are
therefore crucial to saving Fiji’s archaeological heritage. Fiji’s archaeological
environment represents a valuable and irreplaceable record of the nation’s cultural
and social development. For this reason alone it is important that these sites be well
maintained. In addition to its historical, cultural and archaeological merits the
historic heritage also forms a readily available resource of considerable amenity,
education, scientific, recreational and tourism value to the people of Fiji and visitors
The archaeological assessment revealed valuable information pertaining to the
different mataqali landowners within the Delaikoro mountain range and
neighbouring communities historically linked to the land. Various findings of
cultural assets were able to ascertain that these ancestral sites conveyed
immeasurable knowledge and understanding of the history pertaining to traditional
and cultural developments, linked closely to the identity of its people. It depicts the
movement and settlement patterns of their ancestors and the forms of survival
which defined their everyday lives.
Such history must be preserved whether tangible or intangible, however, various
threats and disturbances of these cultural sites have, to an extent, altered important
aspects of material history of the vanua of Cakaudrove and Macuata. All the sites
identified are protected in Fiji under the Preservation of Objects of Archaeological
and Palaeontological Interest Act (1940).
Our recommendations are:
that proper documentation of the assessment and oral history be undertaken
to avoid the loss of traditional knowledge and history of the study area.
the Fiji Museum Archaeology department is included in any future surveys to
allow for completion of assessments of areas that have been overlooked.
that pig hunters and food gatherers from the villages at the periphery of the
study area (Nasealevu, Dogoru, Navisei, Nabuna, Lomaloma, Vunidogoloa,
Korosi, etc.) be used as field guides in identifying features and places of
cultural heritage significance in their respective hunting grounds.
That a presentation of significant findings be done to raise awareness in the
region, an activity for which the Fiji Museum is available.
Socioeconomic Baseline Study
The Greater Delaikoro Area has been identified as an important terrestrial
biodiversity area due to its pristine nature and for its roles in supporting ecosystem
services. Located in the interior of Vanua Levu, the Greater Delaikoro Area consists
of three high densely forested peaks: Nasorolevu, Waisali and Delaikoro. Mt
Delaikoro is a key area in terms of development, as it is the location of the
communication towers that receive telecommunication signals from mainland Viti
Levu and transmit to other parts of Vanua Levu.
The Greater Delaikoro Area supports local communities in terms of food security
and economic development, and also is an important water source for the major
rivers in Vanua Levu. Understanding the social, cultural, economic and livelihood
importance of the Greater Delaikoro Area is important in the quest to sustainably
develop and protect it. Unless policy makers align resource management policies
with community livelihood needs, resource management programs are most likely
to fail or be unsustainable in the long term. Community resource use patterns and
seasonal trends of important activities are just some of the few examples of typical
information that needs to be considered if conservation programs are going to be
planned and implemented in this region.
To conserve Fiji’s terrestrial biodiversity, protected areas should be managed as a
coordinated system and scientific perspectives on ecological sustainability need to
incorporate social science, in particular human behaviours and aspirations. This is
important given that human behaviour and aspirations are generally the drivers of
resource degradation and overexploitation.
In this study, information on the livelihood relevancy of the Greater Delaikoro Area
is the main focus. The area has been identified as a potential protected area in Fiji’s
State of the Environment Report (1995) and the Fiji National Biodiversity Strategic
and Action Plan draft report (1998), due mainly to its ecological and watershed
The overall goal of this survey was to better understand the economic and social
settings of people living around the potential protected area of the Greater Delaikoro
Area and to better understand people’s view and attitudes towards the proposed
protection of the forest. Specific objectives were to understand:
the economic situation of people living in the Greater Delaikoro Area,
people’s use of the forest and how much this contributes to their livelihoods,
their attitudes towards the conservation of the forest and their ideas about
what they would like to see created to protect the forest.
This information, together with that provided by the biodiversity assessment team,
will provide a package for the relevant authorities in Fiji to develop a management
program of the area that takes into account the linkages between natural resources
and community livelihood needs.
The study used both primary and secondary data sources. It blended qualitative and
quantitative methods of inquiry buttressed by participatory research techniques. A
mixture of key informant, focus group and household interviews were conducted at
all the study sites. All interviews were conducted in the common Fijian language
(Bau dialect) by the interviewers; and the information was recorded in English.
To maintain a collaborative effort, all stakeholders in the study sites were first
informed prior to any field visits. The Macuata and Cakaudrove Provincial Council
Offices were informed of the research during a reconnaissance visit, and later on, the
eight villages were contacted and informed. During this consultation activity,
relevant stakeholders were also consulted and some background information related
to the study sites was collected. Through this exercise, the team was able to identify
possible key informants and focus groups to be interviewed.
The study sites
The survey was carried out in six villages in Cakaudrove Province (Nakawaga,
Biaugunu, Nabalebale, Levuka, Suweni and Navakuru), and two in Macuata
Province (Dogoru and Nasealevu). These sites are all within the Greater Delaikoro
Area and were sampled to provide the general socioeconomic setting of
communities within this region.
Focus groups and key informants
A team consisting of seven members visited the eight study sites during the period
of 25 September - 2 October, 2013. In each village, interviews were held with the
village chief and other key personnel to explain the study and to elicit background
information on the village. The key informant interviews and focus group discussion
gathered qualitative data using open-ended questions which were then used to
support the explanations for some findings from the statistical analysis. The
intention of the focus group discussions and key informant interviews were to gain
general perceptions of the Greater Delaikoro Area
general perceptions on the livelihood importance of the forest
cultural importance of the forest area
perceptions on waste management
, hygiene and sanitation
resource governance and village social systems
access to and use of resources and rights
vulnerability (including maintenance of cultural and spiritual values)
resource threats and resource management opportunities
The focus group discussions were conducted in small groups of 4-10 individuals
who work together or have similar social responsibilities within the study site. Three
focus group discussions from each village were undertaken: with the village elders,
the women’s group and the youth group. The key informants interviewed in all the
study sites consisted of a range of people including local chiefs, village headmen,
youth leaders, women’s group leaders and village elders.
The focus group discussions and key informant interviews were followed up by
interviews with 20 different households in the village. In villages with less than 20
household all households were interviewed. A household was defined as all people
sharing the same kitchen and who work together to “put food on the same table”
through economic activities. The village headman helped the researchers select the
20 households in each village. As a general guide the survey aimed to interview five
relatively wealthy households, ten of medium wealth and five relatively poor
households. Interviews took on average two hours to complete.
Quantitative data were collected in this interview using a structured questionnaire
(see Appendix 20). The questionnaire administered included questions about the
household, its members, ages, sex, education levels and occupation, followed by
questions about house structure, possessions, livestock and land under farming.
These were followed by questions about their use of the forest, fuel wood collection,
and water collection. Questions were then asked about what the household
consumed each month and also how much they produced in their fields and the
value of these products in the market. Use of forest products was similarly
quantified to estimate the value of the resources collected from the forest to the
annual income of the household. This was followed by questions about fishing and
the income derived from that. Finally the questionnaire asked for responses to the
idea of creating a protected area, and the benefits and problems that could arise.
Data processing and analysis
A data code sheet was developed by the team, and used to code the data uniformly
for data entry purposes. The data was then entered and analyzed using MS Excel.
The research team specified the most crucial questions to be analyzed and the kind
of analysis needed. Some of the survey questions allowed the respondent to give
more than one response. The advantage of this method of inquiry is that it allows the
respondent to give all possible responses to the issue in question, with the various
responses aggregated according to their frequencies.
Interviewers were instructed to check questionnaire completeness and accuracy at
the interview site. At the end of each day, questionnaire debriefing sessions were
held between the supervisor and all interviewers, to identify any complications, and
to agree on common definitions. Interviewers were asked to write down all
additional qualitative information, which was analyzed by the team. This was
important in capturing important data that would have otherwise been left out by
the restrictive design of the research instruments.
The following section summarizes the results of the surveys: Section 9.3.1 focuses on
the household structure and village infrastructure, section 9.3.2 gives results for the
use of the forest by people and section 9.3.3 summarizes people’s attitudes towards
the creation of a protected area. The last section pools all the information together
and proposes how a protected area might be created that is acceptable to most
people living around this region.
Figure 47: Map of the study sites of the socioeconomic survey
Population, education and infrastructure
Table 9 summarizes the demographic information of the eight study sites. The total
population within the eight study sites is 1164 with Nabalebale village being the
most populated at 431. Located along the Savusavu-Seaqaqa highway, Nabalebale
village is part of Wailevu district in Cakaudrove and has easy access to the two main
urban centers in the Northern Division, Labasa and Savusavu. Nasealevu village has
the lowest population of 84. The average number of people per village is 146. The
total number of households within the eight study sites is 239, with the highest in
Nabalebale village (55) and lowest in Nasealevu (17). The average number of
households per village is 30.
Table 9: Summary of demographic information of the study sites
Age of oldest
Average size of
Total (all study sites)
The overall average number of people in a household in the study area is five, with
all villages having an average of between four and six people per household. This
shows that the majority of the households are large, implying a high demand for
food and other household needs, which in turn implies increasing pressure on forest
resources to satisfy basic needs. For households already involved in forest
utilization, this may translate into further forest exploitation. The fact that
cultivation is the major economic and social activity for the majority of the
communities adjacent to forested areas is confirmation that pressure on the natural
resource base is high.
The age-sex population structure of the study area (Figure 48), shows a
predominantly young population, with the largest age groups being 5-9 and 10-14
years old. The lowest age category (0-4 years old) is smaller than those immediately
above it, which implies a decline in birth rate in the eight villages in recent years.
The pyramid also clearly shows that women in the eight villages live longer than
men. Women are however fewer in number, comprising only 46% of the sampled
population. The median age of the sampled population is 25, closely matching the
national average of 24.6 years.
Figure 48: Population breakdown by gender and age group
Almost half (48%) of household heads were educated up to primary school level.
About 41% were educated above secondary level while only 9% had no formal
education at all. Around 4% had attained some tertiary education. Similarly, the
respondents were mainly primary level-educated people (50%), 42% had secondary
education and above while only around 8% had no formal education at all. Formal
education in Fiji usually begins at the age of five (kindergarten or pre-school). 10% of
the population fall below this age group. The remaining 90% of the population are
either still undertaking or have obtained primary education (38%), still undertaking
or have obtained secondary education (23%), still undertaking or have obtained
tertiary education (10%), or have never had any education (9%).
Across the eight study sites, the average year of education is 8.3 years. The overall
educational attainment of household members in the sites is high in comparison to
the national average and this can be largely attributed to the easy accessibility of the
schools, as well as being close to the Northern Division education offices so that
school management bodies more easily access infrastructural development
assistance for the improvement of school facilities.
In terms of educational infrastructure, each village has access to a nearby primary
school (Table 10) which is either owned by the village or by the district that the
village is a part of. Suweni, Navakuru and Dogoru villages have access to a wider
range of primary schools within the greater Labasa area and also have regular public
transport services to transport students to and from these schools. The schools in the
other five villages are all accessible by foot. The average distance from the village to
the primary school for these villages is 2.8 km, with Nasealevu village to Vudibasoga
Catholic School being the furthest distance that children travel to attend primary
school (3.6 km).