By Justine Mannan, journalism student at FNU
6 December 2013, Fiji Suva - People living in healthy ecosystems have a high chance of protection from natural occurrences such as floods, tidal surges, storms or desertification if they protect their natural surroundings.
Mr. Nigel Dudley, the researcher at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas and Equilibrium, highlighted the benefits of protected areas and options for integrating ecosystem services at a workshop in Suva yesterday.
“Protect a mangrove, protect an area of forests - that will safeguard against landslides or protect an area of desserts so we can cover natural vegetation and reduce dust storms, protecting water shed so that it can absorb flood water or protect forests along-side rivers to stop flooding,” Mr. Dudley said.
He stressed the need to create more protected areas which in turn would benefit the environment and limit natural disasters, improving management effectiveness and possibly change management or have new management priorities.
Mr. Dudley made his remarks at a workshop on Tuesday discussing protected areas, during the Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas.
Justine Mannan is a member of the Media Team providing coverage of the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas from 2 to 6 December in Suva, Fiji. This is a partnership between the Fiji National University (FNU), University of the South Pacific (USP), SPREP and Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) whereby a team of 10 journalism students are mentored by senior reporters as they cover the conference. This activity is funded by the Pacific Assistance Media Scheme (PACMAS).