Building resilience in small island economies Mauritius, 23 – 24 April 2012Constraints and opportunities in land and marine resources management: the case of Tuvalu Faatasi Malologa; Director of Lands & Survey, Ministry of Natural Resources
Challenges and pressure on a small island capital: Funafuti Island, Tuvalu• Urban migration on Fogafale, Funafuti: 2.7 square km land, 5,000 residents (50 % Tuvalupopulation); increasing social, economic and environment challenges..• Challenges on sustainable land and marine resources management..Increasing!• Absence of landuse plan & policy….Sustainable land management focus on main capital• Waste management striving to cope with increasing issues on waste, water and sanitation oncapital and outer islands..not easy!• Infrastructures; marine ports & airport facilities on main capital; goods & services• Geographic location and isolation from overseas market…high cost for local consumers (transport& shipping from overseas suppliers and between islands big issue)• Poor soil for agriculture in Tuvalu, especially capital discourage economic opportunities forcommercial farming, limited water to support it• Climate change and natural disasters….salt water intrusion, coastal erosion, droughts..etc• Maritime boundary finalized before 2012…Improve surveillance and monitoring of fisheries inEEZ, new archipelagic zone (12 nm TW) increases protected areas of fisheries), MarineConservation Areas developed…local poaching and penalties imposed
Constraints in land and marine resources management Absence of landuse plan and policy; sand mining by landowners supplying sand and gravelaggregates to meet demand on aggregates for new infrastructure development on capital; roads, buildings, etc.Unfavorable land tenure (no market on land, only leasehold) discouraged investment on land. Depletion of fish stock on the capital island of Funafuti due to increasing population and urbanizationfrom rural (outer islands). Increasing trend of unemployed and elders (ageing population) resides in the outer islandsmoves to the capital to seek employment, and to be looked after by relatives working on the capital. Change in diet; growing tendency of over reliance on imported food and limited agriculture and farmingactivities. Preference of consuming rice as stable food with fish or imported meat, not much root crop such as taro orkumara since new generation spend little time on cultivation. Empty market Newly built market on capital face new challenges on market promotion activities to fill inempty stalls; absence of gardening and farming activities: no vegetable or crop to sell in new market. Weekly supplyof vegetables from vegetable farm (ROC) on the island cannot meet local demand; sales on rational basis. Increase salinity and salt water intrusion into “taro or pulaka pits” (dug out gardens) propagatedependency on other sources of food such as imported rice, cassava and sweet potatoes. Prolong (6 months) drought of 2011 severely affected “all vegetation” species in Tuvalu; coconuts, rootcrops (taro and pulaka) stable diet for residents in outer islands. Opportunity to look into other alternative crops thatcan withstand climate change effects. Coastal erosion on all island of Tuvalu is significant. Protection of government infrastructureson capital identifies need for coastal protection, and outer islands.
Opportunities Land management planning committee;Ongoing consultations on improving opportunity to enable investment on land; a more flexible land tenure to attract economicdevelopment and investment on land. Improving Agriculture (local root crop) Measures to improve agriculture production on land currently underway, withplans to introduce new species of crops suitable to Tuvalu conditions and withstand climate changes impacts; introduction of crops(root crops that are salt tolerance) and can withstand increase salinity and salt water intrusion into dug out garden pits (pulaka pits). Marine conservation area (MCA) on the capital island Funafuti provided significant positive outcomes on the marinelife and ecosystem within the MCA and the surrounding limits of the conservation area. This is strictly managed by the FunafutiCommunity and Council with continuous collaborative technical support from the government Fisheries department. Increasing fishstock from the MCA provide a healthy and sustainable supply of fish to the general population on the capital. Poachers and illegalfishing in the MCA are penalize by deportation to home island outside Funafuti, or pay fine of $1000 to $2000. Food production from aquaculture on land; milkfish farming in tanks under Taiwan project. High cost of materials needed to set up andmanage by individuals. Nets with floats for aquaculture farming in lagoon more ideal to locals. Desalination plants Severe water drought in 2011 resulted in Tuvalu declaring a state of emergency. This has provided theopportunity for Tuvalu to receive good support from the international community. The installation of water desalination plantsplays a significant role in improving a sustainable water supply, although water storage (water tanks) is still an issue that needs tobe addressed and improve in future. Construction of compost toilets “fale- vatie” on capital reduces impacts caused by increasing water salinity in thelagoon and ground water. Water is save for household needs and for gardening. Coastal protection plan under NAPA and JICA projects currently underway. Increasing of sand (forams)production and migration from ocean side to lagoon by opening up of channels at selected site to improve and increase sand beachnourishment on central coastal lagoon parts of capital. Stakeholders from Government and NGOs stressed the need to build properdesigned sea walls for coastal protection rather than relying entirely on natural production of foram sand as it will take decades totake effect against adverse weather conditions and coastal erosion. Planting of mangroves, and selected vegetation type for coastalprotection established and implemented.
Conclusion• Land & Coastal management planning;• Amendment of the Native Lands Act;• Marine Resources Act & National Fisheries Policy;• Tuvalu continue to suffer from adverse impacts of climate change & naturaldisasters like other SIDS• Continuous Support from EU, UN and other donor agencies; ideal mean of survivaland sustainable improvement of livelihood in the islands