Fiji urgently needs more local wildlife researchers

May 19, 2024 12:28 pm

There is a need for more local researchers in wildlife conservation to ensure findings are published and translated at the community level.

This need was highlighted by NatureFiji MareqetiViti Director Nunia Thomas-Moko during the World Species Congress earlier this week.

Thomas-Moko pointed out that mostly overseas-based researchers travel to Fiji, conduct research, and publish it internationally; however, this information often does not reach relevant authorities and communities.

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NatureFiji MareqetiViti Director Nunia Thomas-Moko

She believes a gap exists between conducting research and implementing its findings for practical use.

“And as an organization, we try to make that information available and translate it in a manner that teachers can understand it, Mataqali members can understand it, women can understand it, and children can understand it. So it’s the translation of the data and the information in a usable format.”

She adds that they are also enhancing their activities and initiatives to protect Fiji’s natural resources and species.

“And so every month we have this program called learn from the Scientists, where the volunteer scientists that we have in-country give their time to talk about what they have or what they have learned.”

Thomas-Moko stresses that local involvement is essential for sustainable conservation efforts.