Story of Fiji Forest

Produced by OISCA and Mr. Masanori Iuchi

Pictures by Ms. Kazuyo Miyachi and Marielou

DAKUWAKA: Wow, the sun is rising! The sea and sky illuminated by the morning sun are very beautiful. Ole!

DAKUWAKA: Today, my important friends are coming all the way to Fiji. Japanese Raccoon dog: Takku, Philippine Sea Turtle: Rino and Indonesian Orangutan: Uuta are visiting Fiji for the first time. I hope today will be a calm and fine day.

PRESENTER: That afternoon, guided by Dakuwaka, Takku, Rino and Uuta came to the beach.

TAKKU: Wow, what a blue sea! It’s great!

RINO: Look, it’s a mangrove forest. We also have it in my homeland, Philippines.

UUTA: Hey, Dakuwaka, what are they doing over there?

DAKUWAKA: Uuta, that is called Kava Ritual handed down from ancient times. It’s to welcome all of you.

After saying “Bula” in a loud voice and putting a hand to ear, ask children to say “Bula” altogether.

All residents of the village: Bula! ! !

PRESENTER: Everyone is very delighted to be welcomed in Fiji. They board a boat and go to explore the sea.

UUTA: Wow, various animals have come out from the sea. I am Uuta from Indonesia. Who are you?

MANGROVE CRAB: Bula ! I am a mangrove crab. I am quite famous here. Welcome to the Fiji sea.

PRESENTER: Colorful fish, Crayfish and sea turtles have gathered around the boat.

TAKKU: Wow, I have seen that kind of forest for the first time. What trees are they?

RINO: Takku, They are mangrove trees. We also have many in the Philippines.

MANGUU: Bula! I am Manrove Manguu. Welcome!

Everyone: Bula!

PRESENTER: Dakuwaka stopped rowing the boat.

DAKUWAKA: Well we have arrived. Now I am going to guide you in the sea.

TAKKU: Wow, it’s so beautiful!

UUTA: Oh, It’s great! There are so many corals.

PRESENTER: Beautiful coral reeves are spread at the bottom of the sea. Colorful fish and small sea animals are going around. Takku, Rino and Utta are also admiring the spectacle. A few minutes later, Dakuwaka called upon everyone.

DAKUWAKA: Hey, are you all enjoying? Could you come over here for a while?

PRESENTER: Uuta, Rino and Takku came in front of Dakuwaka. They are all curious about what would happen.

DAKUWAKA: I would like to introduce my old playmate to you. Monet, come over here.

PRESENTER: Then, a fish clad in a wonderful dress came out from the curtain of large sea anemone behind Dakuwaka.

MONET: Bula! I am Monet the clownfish. Pleased to meet you.

Everyone: Bula Monet!

TAKKU: The Fiji sea and coral reeves are all beautiful.

In a sad tone, Monet speaks.

MONET: Yes, but these corals are dead since a long time ago. Follow me every one!

PRESENTER: They swam following Monet. Then, an amazing sight was spread. It was totally different from the scene they saw earlier.

TAKKU: Why is it dark here?

RINO: The sea water is very muddy. We can’t see around well.

PRESENTER: Takku and Rino stared to see well in the dark and glazed sea. Then, they found chunks like whitish bones spreading endlessly at the bottom of the sea. All of a sudden, Uuta uttered a loud voice.

UUTA: Probably they are.....

MONET: Yes, that’s right. They are the same corals as what you have seen earlier.

PRESENTER: It was Dakuwaka who replied Takku’s question in a sad voice.

DAKUWAKA: These are dead corals.

TAKKU: Dakuwaka, why are they dead?

DAKUWAKA: Well, there are various reasons. Firstly, coastal mangroves were cut down and mountain soil and mud flowed down into the sea, and the soil and mud prevented the sunlight to reach the bottom of the sea. And so, corals are dead without the sunlight.

PRESENTER: This time, Rino asked a question.

RINO: But why the mangroves were cut down?

DAKUWAKA: Well, it’s because many people from all over the world who are attracted by the beautiful sea in Fiji, started to come over. But the coastal mangroves were seen as standing in the way for building hotels and developing resorts, and so, they were cut down.

PRESENTER: Monet who was listening while nodding, started to speak out.

MONET: The mangrove forests give us a lot of nourishment.

DAKUWAKA: That is not all. The mangroves stop soil and mud coming from the mountains.

PRESENTER: I think you now understand that the mangrove forests are very important to sea animals. But, Takku still has many questions.

TAKKU: You said that the mangrove forests were cut down and a lot of sediment flowed down into the sea. But why so much sediment flowed from the shore into the sea?

UUTA: Takku, that’s a good question. Go up to the land from the sea and see the landscape. Didn’t you notice anything?

PRESENTER: Takku, urged by Uuta and looked at the land from the seashore, was very surprised.

TAKKU: Wow, there are only bald mountains! So many trees have been cut down.

UUTA: That’s right. A lot of sediment flows into the sea because trees have been cut down in the mountains.

PRESENTER: Takku still did not understand.

UUTA: Takku, mountain trees keep rainwater in the roots. Rainwater becomes underground water passing through tree roots. On the other hand, the tree roots firmly hold mountain soil. If there are no trees holding mountain soil, what will happen?

TAKKU: Now I understand. When it is rainy, mountain soil and stones are washed away and flow down into the sea. What shall we do then?

PRESENTER: If we leave the present conditions as they are, what will happen to the sea and land in Fiji? Then, Dakukawa told Takku.

DAKUWAKA: Takku, thank you for your concern about Fiji. Uuta and Rino, could you come over here?

PRESENTER: Led by Dakukawa, everyone came down to shallow waters on the coast. There people were doing something.

RINO: Hey, Dakukawa, what are they doing over there ?

DAKUWAKA: Rino, they are planting mangrove seedlings. The seedlings they plant will develop into mangrove forests and will protect our sea in future. The seedlings planted 10 years ago have now grown as tall as a human.

RINO: I see. You develop mangrove forests over a long period of time. I would also like to plant seedlings.

TAKKU: I will help them.

UUTA: Me too.

PRESENTER: Soaked in the mud of the shallow waters, Takku, Rino and Uuta intently planted seedlings. Dakukawa with delight is carrying seedlings.

DAKUWAKA: By the time large mangrove forests develop on the coast, seedlings of pine trees planted in the bald mountains will grow into splendid forests.

PRESENTER: That’s it. The seedlings of pine trees being planted in the mountains, when they are grown, will absorb rainwater into their roots, hold soil thus preventing from flooding, while mangrove seedlings being planted on the seashore will hold back sediment flowing into the sea. We are all hoping for that day coming as soon as possible.

Clownfish Monet shook its dorsal fin.

MONET: If that happens, beautiful coral reeves will develop and our habitat will be recovered.

DAKUWAKA: You are right. I am looking forward to seeing that. I am delighted that you have planted seedlings. Vinaka!

PRESENTER: Dakuwaka thanked in Fiji language. Monet also said so.

MONET: Vinaka!

PRESENTER: Takku, Uuta and Rino were glad because Dakuwaka and Monet were delighted. Then, a loud voice resounded around.

MANGUU: Vi_, na_, ka_ Thank you everyone for planting mangrove seedlings! If my brothers and sisters increase, the mangrove family will be able to join forces to protect the sea in Fiji. We will be able to recover the previous sea where beautiful coral reeves were spread.

DAKUKAWA: Thank you, Manguu!

MONET: I hope Manguu’s brothers and sisters will grow up as soon as possible!

PRESENTER: Everyone firmly held Manguu’s robust hands. The small seedlings will protect the Fiji sea with big hands like Manguu in the future. Beautiful and vigorous coral reeves will grow in the sea and sea animals like Monet will be able to live there peacefully.

TAKKU: Well, everyone, it’s departure now.

PRESENTER: With Takku’s voice, everyone awoke.

RINO: That’s right. We have to leave for a next country.

PRESENTER: Rino looks lonely.

UUTA: I will come to Fiji again when mangroves are grown up.

PRESENTER: Uuta held Monet’s hands.

DAKUWAKA: So, everyone go aboard the boat.

PRESENTER: They boarded a traditional Fiji sailing boat and depart for the next destination.

DAKUWAKA: Is everyone ready? Let’s go.

EVERYONE: MOSE, good bye Fiji!

The end.