Publication Details

Tuivavalagi, N. S. & Morrison, R. J. (2004). Land-Based activities and impacts on coral reefs and the marine environment of the Pacific Islands. In H. Yukihira (Eds.), Towards the Desirable Future of Coral Reefs in Palau and the Western Pacific, 23-26 July 2003 (pp. 69-86). Palau: PICRC.


This paper recognizes the fact some of the problems encountered in the coral reefs and marine environment of the Pacific are actually due to land-based activities. This message needs to be clearly brought to the attention of farmers and others who work the land - as well as to fishermen and others whose activities focus on coral reefs and the marine environment.

The paper discusses the Pacific environment and some relevant key issues. The paper goes on to discuss land-based activities that harm the coral reef environment - with some emphasis on agricultural activities and soil erosion; however, the impacts of other land-based activities are also discussed. Strategies for reducing the harmful effects ofland-based activities are then discussed with reference to worldviews, various strategies, integrated approach and technical considerations.

The paper recognizes the Vetiver System as an appropriate mechanism for combating the effect of soil erosion and discusses this system to some detail- before ending with some conclusions and recommendations. However, the main message ofthis paper is that there is an urgent need to clarify the impacts of the various land-based activities on coral reefs and the marine environment, and to devise ways of minimizing or eliminating the negative effects of land-based activities.