IUCN Oceania organized a stakeholder planning meeting in February 2014 in the Fiji Islands to discuss the proposed designation of the Nasoata mangrove island as Fiji’s second Ramsar Site. The Ramsar Secretariat was represented by Vainuupo Jungblut, the Ramsar Officer for Oceania.
Vainuupo Jungblut accompanied IUCN Oceania officers on a consultation visit to the Nakorovou village, in the Rewa river delta, where the traditional landowners of the Nasoata mangrove island are based. During the visit, he reiterated Ramsar’s commitment to support the nomination of the island.
The stakeholder planning meeting for designating Nasoata Island as a Ramsar Site was held at the IUCN offices in Suva. Participants included representatives from the Department of Environment (the Ramsar Administrative Authority in Fiji), University of the South Pacific, Ministry of Lands, iTaukei Land Trust Board, IUCN Oceania and the landowners of Nasoata Island. At the meeting, Vainuupo Jungblut outlined the goals of the Ramsar Convention and the benefits of designating priority wetlands as Ramsar Sites. Highlights of the meeting were the presentation on the biodiversity profile of the island by Professor Randy Thaman (USP), progress with the development of the co-management plan for the island led by IUCN Oceania and group work to map out issues to include in the co-management plan. The group work focused on three themes: stakeholder engagement, Ramsar Site nomination process and biodiversity profile.