An increase in marine life such as baby reef
sharks has followed a coral planting program being undertaken by
Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort as part of a wider Outrigger Resorts
global OZONE (Outrigger’s ZONE) conservation initiative.
In Fiji, the program has seen coral propagation
racks and fish houses built as part of a teenager guest activity
program organized by the resort’s hosts.
The success of this coral planting has attracted
the attention of the University of the South Pacific, which this
year will send 120 students studying marine science to observe the
work being carried out at Outrigger Fiji.
The resort’s giant clam farm is also thriving. A
favorite snorkeling destination for guests, it is helping to
restore the health of the coral and boost fish numbers.
The United Nations has designated 2018 as the
third International Year of the Reef.
The first official event held in Fiji as part of
this year-long awareness campaign took place at Nukubati Resort, a
Fijian-owned property which fronts the Great Sea Reef, the
third-longest continuous barrier reef in the world.
“This is a global event of relevance to every
single person on earth,” said Fiji’s Prime Minister, Hon. Josaia
Voreqe Bainimarama, who attended the event. “But it has a
particular resonance for the Fijian people because of where we are
today – on the edge of one of our most precious national assets,
the Great Sea Reef or Cakaulevu Reef.”
Mr Bainimarama emphasized the importance of
protecting the world's reefs and also announced that a significant
portion of the Great Sea Reef had been nominated as a Ramsar site
under the Convention on Wetlands, to help protect it from external
A Ramsar site is designated under
international treaty as a wetland important for the conservation
of global biological diversity and for sustaining human life.
“We are engaged in a battle for the future of
these reefs. We approved the nomination of large parts of the
Great Sea Reef as a Ramsar site to protect it for future
generations,” he said.
The Prime Minister also thanked the UN for
choosing Fiji as the location from which it would highlight the
state of the world’s reefs.
“I want to use this opportunity to reaffirm
Fiji’s determination to continue to lead the global climate
negotiations with absolute vigor, focus and commitment,” he said.
Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment told the
audience that 2018 was a “make or break year for the world’s coral
“We have a short window when we can act, and the
United Nations, WWF, and countries like Fiji are calling on the
world to take the steps that will fix the problem this year,” he
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