Make conservation activities a community event

NatureFiji-MareqetiViti director Nunia Thomas-Moko at the 47th Fiji Institute of Accountants Congress. Picture FELIX CHAUDHARY

MAKE conservation activities like collecting litter in a particular area or studying the native flaura and fauna through a bush hike a family or community event.

This was the suggestion made by Nunia Thomas-Moko, director of local conservation group NatureFiji-MareqetiViti.

She made the comment during a panel discussion at the 47th Fiji Institute of Accountants Congress at the Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort on Friday.

“You don’t have to be a scientist to save a species that is special or endemic to Fiji,” she said.

“You just have to care enough about it. “If everyone did an activity and shared their passion with children, family members and community, we could make a real difference in how litter is disposed and the environment is looked after.

We are a family-based organisation and our vision is that any child that grows up in Fiji 50 years from now will know what Fiji’s biodiversity is.

“So that no matter what they become in life — an engineer, lawyer or accountant — the decisions that they make will be environmentally conscious.”

Ms Thomas-Moko said creating an interest in children now would mean the values they learnt would be used in their future careers.

“So when a child grows up and becomes an engineer and they are designing a bridge, they will know that they have to let the eels and fish travel up and down the river because they lay their eggs in the ocean and they come back upriver to mountaintops.

“Developing that level of interest now will mean having future road engineers who will know all the needs of the different species and we can have an environment that sustains us.

“In order to do that we need to have parents and children come and learn about it.”

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