Conserving and restoring forest species of traditional interest in Wallis and Futuna

In Wallis and Futuna, a French island collectivity in the South Pacific with a very diversified forest, some of the hardwood species used by the local population for traditional and medicinal purposes are becoming increasingly rare. “The native forest is rapidly dwindling, while local broadleaf species with traditional uses are being taken over by exotic invasive species”, said Florent Godinot, from the Directorate of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Services of Wallis and Futuna. “This makes it a priority to preserve Wallisian plant biodiversity and the services it provides to the islanders”, he added.

Running between July 2021 and January 2023, this BEST 2.0+ project aims at safeguarding the local biodiversity by way of converting a degraded Caribbean pine forest into a conservation plot. As Mr Godinot explained, “this conservation plot will provide Hihifo’s district villagers with a supply of local useful hardwood species, and will also be used to raise much needed awareness on Wallisian forest and its usefulness for the island”.

If you want to know how project in the Pacific will safeguard the Wallisian forest and its species, take a look at the presentation that Yohan Lojou, from the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Department of Wallis and Futuna, made for the BEST and Beyond Pavilion at the IUCN World Conservation Congress that took place last September in the French city of Marseille.

Enjoy it!