SK Innovation Inks MoU With Fiji For Mangrove Reforestation Projects

South Korean energy firm SK Innovation is set to embark on a mangrove reforestation project in Fiji. The project aims to contribute to solving the pressing environmental challenges that are national crises in the region, such as rising sea levels caused by global warming.

SK Innovation announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Suva, for the “Restoration of Mangrove Forests in the Fijian Coastal Area for Carbon Reduction” on October 25.

In accordance with this MoU, SK Innovation will commence the restoration of the mangrove forests in the coastal areas of Vanua Levu Island in November. Vanua Levu is the second-largest among the 332 islands that constitute Fiji. The financial burden for the mangrove reforestation project under the agreement will be borne by SK Innovation.

Local community participation in the restoration project will also be promoted and both SK Innovation and relevant organisations to the project have agreed to explore additional collaboration opportunities to expand the project.

“The launch of this project signifies not only our determination to protect our environment but also our ambition to build a more sustainable future,” said Sanjana Lal, Conservator of Fiji’s Ministry of Fisheries and Forestry. “This project will make a meaningful impact on Vanua Levu and Fiji as a whole.”

Mangroves predominantly inhabit tidal flats or coastlines in subtropical regions with approximately 73 species distributed over about 150,000 km² worldwide. Notably, their carbon dioxide absorption capacity is known to exceed more than five times that of typical forests, making them effective in addressing climate change.

Moreover, they also play a vital role in ecosystem preservation. In particular, mangroves act as a barrier against natural disasters such as typhoons and tsunamis, mitigating coastal damage and preventing coastal erosion. Therefore, mangroves are significant to Pacific Island countries, including Fiji, which have been facing damages caused by climate crises.

SK Innovation has consistently expanded its efforts toward global carbon reduction since the beginning of its first mangrove planting in the southern province of Tra Vinh, Vietnam, in 2018. So far, the accumulated size of mangroves reforested by the company in Southeast Asia, specifically, Vietnam and Myanmar, has reached 226 hectares, with approximately 820,000 new trees.