COP23: Struggling to save Fiji's marine wealth

The third-largest barrier reef in the southern hemisphere, the Great Sea Reef, has traditionally enjoyed protection with fishermen in the north of the Fiji Islands dividing their fishing areas and declaring some as "Tambu Areas" - places where fishing is strictly off limits. Here, the seagrass meadows and fringe reefs were once home to the rare green sea turtle and the friendly East Pacific dolphin. But today these traditionally protected zones are largely disregarded. And, simply putting up a fence around the richly biodiverse area doesn't work, according to Jan Steffen. The marine biologist from Germany's international aid agency, GIZ, has a tough task ahead. By 2020, Fiji wants to protect 30 percent of its marine area. It's an ambitious target and Steffen is meant to help implement it. The Great Sea Reef is meant to be part of the protected area. Jan Steffen is now looking for a new way to protect the Reef. His approach is to get all stakeholders, from fishermen to politicians, on board in order to protect the rich marine ecosystem in the long term.

A film by Carmen Meyer and Holger Ernst



1:13 Minutes


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