Joint effort in tree planting exercise

The students of Queen Victoria School during the tree planting project at school last Saturday. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

ALLOWING young people to embrace the importance of planting a tree and cleaning up their environment is a positive stride towards saving the planet. Students of Queen Victoria School (QVS), former students, and Ministry of Fisheries and Forests staff members worked together to plant coastal plants and mangroves along the school’s beachfront on Saturday.

Participants at the tree planting exercise not only got a chance to plant a tree but also got to appreciate the important role a tree has in their daily lives.

The tree planting exercise was followed by a quick beach clean-up that allowed students to appreciate their beautiful surroundings and to maintain its cleanliness.

Ministry of Fisheries permanent secretary Craig Strong said it was estimated that globally, mangroves provided at least $16 billion in ecosystem services annually.

“Such services include protecting foreshores, fisheries production and supply of building materials but also tourism, recreation and improving water quality,” he said.

“Mangrove ecosystems are also one of the best and largely overlooked carbon sinks.

“In essence, mangroves provide natural adaptation to the effects of climate change, serve as natural insurance against climate change and contribute towards the global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Head boy of QVS, Dwayne Leca, said for a sustainable future, it was important to protect and manage Fiji’s unique mangroves and trees.

The Ministry of Fisheries had co-ordinated a climate change mitigation project in 2014 with QVS during its launch of the Ridge to Reef program that involved three secondary schools within Tailevu North, making this its second project with the school.

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