Talihau Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EbA) project a success

Talihau Village in Vava’u, Tonga is the first site to implement the Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EbA) program.

The biodiversity project focuses on both the beach and ocean environments and habitats.

Work on the beach rehabilitation program started in October, 2014 and was funded the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), in partnership with the Vava’u Environmental Protection Association (VEPA) and the Department of Environment (MEIDECC).

A statement said the joint-partnership focused on monitoring and assisting the activity in Talihau, with the primary aim of returning the beach to its original state.

The beach was divided into three zones at first and fences were built to protect the work that was done.

That included the placing of palm fronds and branches along the affected areas of sand and soil erosion.

The fencing of the area also stopped people and livestock from accessing the project area.

It also stopped people from sand mining, littering and burning rubbish in the conservation areas.

VEPA and MEIDECC monitored this project for two years and have seen the beach habitat and environment improving.

Green life has returned with vines and some plants that had disappeared before the project now returning to the area.

The team has also noted how the fronds and branches have reduced soil erosion and help to keep sand on beach during high tides and storm surges.

On November 14 last year the VEPA and MEIDECC teams worked together as team in cleaning up Talihau Beach, removing all rusty fence and wood in preparation of the installation of the new fence.

The new fence was put up on November 19-20 last year, with the old posts and wood used as compost inside the fenced area.

The close working relationship and partnership between the VEPA and MEIDECC teams have helped in the successful implementation of the project.

There is now a plan to hand over the project to the Talihau community, with hope that the community can sustain and conserve the area as it will benefit them now and in the future.