Restoring and reviving abandoned taro fields to strengthen buffer for sedimentation
About the Implementing organization
Name: Ngara Ekil (Traditional women's group)p
Year of establishment: 1950
Type of organization: Community-based association or organization, Women’s association or organization, Indigenous group or organization, Other
It has been studied in Palau that the traditional management of taro fields that have been in practice for about 800 years, are an added measure (next to mangroves) that can buffer sedimentation from entering the reefs. This is an innovative farming method that is different from the usual mono-cropping or industrialized agriculture farming methods that are often the cause for further land and environmental degradation. And Palau as a small island state (SIDS), these traditional management practices have been tested and trailed over a long period of time that has refined a farming method to be compatible with its fragile and connected environment.
Wetlands / Rivers
Type of Action
Restoration / Sustainable use
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Health
1.4 hectares of land or approximately 14,000 square meters of land applying sustainable agriculture and water management practices. The initiative also aims to protect these taro fields to prevent them from being altered or falling victim to development projects. The women hope to have these agro-ecosystems intact.
Sustainable Development Impacts
An increase of taro fields and an increase of taro crops has resulted from this initiative. Furthermore, the increase in community participation, particularly the women of Ngardmau State, should be noted. With the taro fields now functional again, the women are now looking towards value-added products as well as delving into the tourism industry to promote low-impact, high-value tourism in Ngardmau and the whole of Palau as well.
It is important to note that taro fields' restoration has expanded to 4 more States since 2015 when this initiative was already being implemented. The efforts are based on the study of taro fields having the capacity to buffer sediments from going further down to the reefs. Moreover, the expansion is also an effort to address food security plans in Palau.
Taro field management in Palau is a traditional farming method, but it is innovate in a way that has stood the test of time by being able to work in harmony with the natural environment. This initiative should be replicated and shared with the rest of the world in efforts to combat land degradation and even restore degraded land.
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