Improving coastal resilience for Indigenous peoples in Fiji

BHP has awarded Conservation International a grant of approximately US$6.5 million over five years to implement its pioneering seascape approach in Fiji through the Lau Seascape Initiative. The seascape approach is a framework for countries, communities and the private sector to improve marine and coastal protections and support a resilient ocean economy through the more sustainable use of resources, improved livelihoods, and better ocean health. 

Through its financial support for the Lau Seascape Initiative, BHP is supporting Conservation International to enable the Fijian Government and the people of Lau to prioritise Indigenous-led marine protection for long-term conservation of marine resources, ecosystem services and cultural heritage in Lau. 

This initiative aims to ensure the Lau Seascape is zoned and sustainably co-managed at scale by Indigenous communities and government, delivering a global model for effective protection of nature, culture, and sustainable development through improved market access to natural resources, tourism, and sustainable financing in the ocean economy. 

Conservation International’s seascapes approach aims to build coalitions among government, the private sector and civil society to harmonise sustainable use and protection of oceans and coasts. The seascapes approach has been developed and piloted by Conservation International for over 15 years. Since 2004, this approach has been applied by global non-profit partnerships in five seascapes across eight countries and has drawn on the practical experience of local partners. These seascapes include: the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape (Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador), the Abrolhos Seascape (Brazil), the Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape (Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines), the Bird’s Head Seascape (Indonesia) and the Lau Seascape (Fiji). This project also provides an opportunity for the lessons learned from application of the seascapes approach and Indigenous-led management in Fiji to be shared to enable both organisations to consider how they could be applied in other contexts and geographies. 

The grant to Conservation International to support implementation of the seascape approach in Fiji represents one of BHP’s social investments, in line with our intention to contribute to the preservation of high value terrestrial and marine ecosystems.  

Read more on Conservation International’s website.