Dravuni Marine Protected Area (MPA)

Marine protected areas (MPA) are generally defined as: “protected areas of seas, oceans or large lakes. MPAs restrict human activity for a conservation purpose, typically to protect natural or cultural resources. Marine resources are protected by local, state, territorial, native, regional or national authorities and differ substantially among nations.”

Dravuni ‘s MPA was established in 2003; its location is shown below.

The MPA comprises the areas under and around the Daveta ni Luve reef, situated between Daveta iVanuakula (Usborne Passage) and Daveta iNamara (Herald Passage).

Dravuni’s MPA is a locally-managed marine area (LMMA) within which fishing is restricted by way of a tabu/taboo. The Dravuni community administers the tabu. The LMMA/MPA comes under the auspices of the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area (FLMMA) – a network representing non-profit and charitable association of resource conservation NGOs, government departments, academic institutions and over 400 communities working together to promote and encourage the preservation, protection and sustainable use of marine resources in Fiji by the stewards of these marine resources.

Dravuni’s MPA was established through the partnership of World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF). WWF is present in over 100 countries across the world and has been working, since 1961, to protect the world’s species and natural places, pushing for a more sustainable world.

Dravuni leads the way as far as Ono District of Kadavu is concerned. Its MPA was established  before  that of Naqara (2008), Narikoso (2008) and Buliya (2009).

In 2005, as Fiji’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, I committed the whole country to establishing MPA at the International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States that was held in Port Louis, Mauritius on 10-14 January.

Paragraph 25 of the Outcomes document of that meeting, under IV: Coastal and Marine Resources states: “In collaboration with other States and making use of regional mechanisms, small island developing States will work to put in place integrated policies and sound management approaches, such as marine protected areas, consistent with relevant international agreements, and develop national capacity to monitor, conserve and sustainably manage coral reefs and associated ecosystems, taking into account the programme of work on marine and coastal biological diversity adopted by the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological  Diversity at its 7th meeting.”

The ocean is an inextricable part of Dravuni identity and life; our MPA enables the environmental, economic and cultural protection of Dravuni’s ocean resource for future generations.

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