25 Feb 2013

Nabukelevu youth benefit from their sustainable livelihood project

Honey from Kadavu
Honey from Kadavu
By BirdLife Pacific

The Nabukelevu Site Support Group (SSG) was set up in 2007 to promote the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in Mount Nabukelevu, Kadavu, Fiji. The group has gone from strength to strength in protecting their IBA, developing alternative livelihoods and providing for their future. The SSG are currently selling honey from the IBA and investing the profits in their children's education.

Nabukelevu is an Important Bird Area (IBA FJ12) and supports four species and eight subspecies endemic to Kadavu. The SSG is made up of youth, men and women representatives from the four villages surrounding the mountain.

"A portion of the land in Mt Nabukelevu is community protected through an agreement by 11 landowning clans who have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the BirdLife International to protect over 1,000 hectares of forests for 20 years", explained Mere Valu from NatureFiji-MareqetiViti.

NatureFiji-MareqetiViti are now supporting the community following the recent merger with the BirdLife Fiji Programme. The youth have begun 2013 with the harvest and sale of honey which will contribute to the revenue earned in the past two years. These 750ml bottles are currently been sold for FJ$10.00 and the hives will be harvested again in February to ensure that honey supplies continue to be available for interested individuals.

"In support of village initiatives, the SSG and the youth group have contributed a portion of their revenue to a childrens’ trust fund which was set up in Lomati village in 2012", said Mere. "The SSG will continue to oversee conservation initiatives in the IBA and are anticipating a great year through the sale of their honey, pineapples and sandalwood".