Tagabe River Ecosystem Restoration

Name of case study

Tagabe River Ecosystem Restoration

Location

Port Vila, Vanuatu

Year

2017 – 2030

Scale

Urban/landscape scale

Area / size

2976 hectares

NbS employed

Floodplain restoration; Riparian restoration

Type of NbS

Ecosystem restoration

Initiator

PEBACC+ is a regional project implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)

Funder

Funded by the Kiwa Initiative through its donors the European Union, AFD, Global Affairs Canada, Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), with co-financing from the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM).

Budget

Not defined

Design group

The Tagabe River Management Committee, SPREP, Vanuatu Department of Forestry, Tagabe River community

PEBACC assisted the Department of Forestry central nursery with the construction of a boundary fence, a new potting shed, the purchase of seedling benches and the raising of seedlings. Photo by the Vanuatu Daily Post. https://pasifika.news/2021/02/restoring-tagabe-river-ecosystem/
Riverbank Erosion, Tagabe River. Photo by Ecosystem Services https://ecosystem-services.co.nz/riparian-restoration-project-tagabe-river-efate-vanuatu
Climate change benefits
  • Biomass cover loss
  • Changes in rainfall
  • Flooding
  • Reduced soil quality
  • Reduced air quality
  • Reduced water quality
  • Sea level rise
Societal / socio-cultural benefits
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Freshwater security
  • Waste management and sanitation
Ecological benefits
  • Climate regulation
  • Biological control
  • Disturbance prevention
  • Habitat provision
  • Purification
  • Soil building
  • Species maintenance

Summary of case study

PEBACC+ is a €5.8 million regional project facilitated by SPREP and funded by the Kiwa Initiative, backed by donors such as the European Union, AFD, Global Affairs Canada, Australian Government DFAT, and New Zealand MFAT, with co-financing from FFEM. Over four years, this initiative aims to bolster the resilience of ecosystems, economies, and communities in Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Wallis, and Futuna to climate change impacts.

The Tagabe River riparian restoration project, a pivotal component of PEBACC, addresses urgent biodiversity loss threatening fresh water supply to over 50,000 residents of Port Vila (Roberts, 2021). The Tagabe River riparian restoration project was identified as key in the initial part of the PEBACC Project (Blaschke et al., 2017; Pedersen Zari et al., 2017). Urban development near the floodplains has rendered the area susceptible to flooding and compromised community resilience. By reestablishing riparian vegetation and mangroves, the project mitigates flooding risks and adapts to sea-level rise (Ecosystem services).

The Tagabe River Nursery, integral to the project, has undergone significant improvements, including the erection of a boundary fence, a new potting shed, and seedling benches (Vanuatu Daily Post, 2021). These enhancements not only aid climate adaptation against rising sea levels but also ensure freshwater availability for Port Vila’s residents. The restoration of riparian vegetation contributes to climate change mitigation by lessening the impacts of extreme weather events, thereby enhancing community resilience and sustaining a viable water supply (Roberts, 2021).

Indigenous knowledge integration is pivotal for project success. By incorporating indigenous planting palettes and leveraging existing knowledge databases, restoration efforts are tailored to the Tagabe River environment, fostering environmental, social, and economic values (Vanuatu Daily Post, 2021). While ongoing, the project’s long-term success will be gauged by its effectiveness in reducing the impacts of extreme climatic events on the region.

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References
  • Blaschke, P.M., Pedersen Zari, M., Archie, K. M., Jackson, B., Komugabe-Dixson, A., Livesey, C., Loubser, D., Martinez-Almoyna Gual, C., Maxwell, D., Rastandeh, A., Renwick, J. & Weaver, S. (2017). Ecosystem Assessment and Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EbA) Options for Port Vila, Vanuatu. Wellington, New Zealand: Report prepared by Victoria University of Wellington for the Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change (PEBACC) Programme of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
  • Ecosystem services (2024). Riparian Restoration: Tagabe River Project. Available online: https://ecosystem-services.co.nz/riparian-restoration-project-tagabe-river-efate-vanuatu. Date accessed: 17 May, 2024.
  • Pedersen Zari, M., Blaschke, P. M., Livesey, C., Martinez-Almoyna Gual, C., Weaver, S., Archie, K. M., Jackson, B., Komugabe-Dixson, A., Loubser, D., Maxwell, D., Rastandeh, A. & Renwick, J. (2017). Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) Project Implementation Plans, Port Vila, Vanuatu. Wellington, New Zealand: Report prepared by Victoria University of Wellington for the Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change Programme (PEBACC) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
  • Roberts, A. (2021). Restoring Tagabe river ecosystem. Vanuatu Daily Post, Feb 23. https://www.dailypost.vu/news/restoring-tagabe-river-ecosystem/article_5ddcdd06-7561-11eb-b7b7-53e8b6bde667.html 

Further resources:

<< Floodplain restoration