The project, as part of the Nakau Programme and owned by indigenous land owners, protects over 4,000 ha of tropical rainforest in Vanua Levu, Fiji. It helps the Fijian clans to protect their rainforests, therefore providing greater resilience against climate change, and also form community businesses including honey enterprises.



Benefits that Drawa Rainforest Project provides



Start date 2012
Coordinator Live & Learn International
Activities Improved land management
Participants 120 indigenous households
PVCs issued to-date 132,280


The detail

The Drawa Forest Project is an initiative that enables indigenous peoples in Fiji to forgo commercial logging and save their forests. The project aims to protect 4,144 hectares of forest area on Vanua Levu, the second-largest island in Fiji. The project area belongs to eight mataqali, or Fijian clans, who came together to form the Drawa Block Forest Communities Cooperative, which helped establish a protected area through a conservation lease to carry out improved forest management practices. 

The eight mataqali came together to save their forests at a time when logging coupes had been mapped out and communities were ready to clear for timber. From this, the Drawa Forest project was born.

The project also supports alternative sources of income like rainforest honey products. The conserved forest protects villages from cyclones, floods and droughts, and provides clean water for the Drawa people and other communities that rely on streams flowing from the rainforests.   

The income from the sale of carbon credits has helped set up improved water and sanitation facilities and other building projects across five villages in the region. One of the key priorities of the project is to set up honey production and agroforestry enterprises and invest in essential community infrastructure that improves access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities.  

In recognition of its success, the project won the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) Award for Excellence in Implementing Island Ecosystem Management Principles in 2015, and International Energy Globe Award for Fiji in 2020.    


 Project Stories: Our Natural Protectors


The documents




See all documents 



 SDG details

See how the project provides benefits beyond carbon and contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Sustainable Development Goal How the project contributes
  • Provides an alternative and sustainable income to the Drawa forest communities built on payment for ecosystem services (PES).
  • Protected rainforest reduces water pollution ensuring access to clean water and sustainable forest fishing for the Drawa communities.

  • The Drawa carbon project and carbon rights are owned by the eight mataqali (Drawa clans).
  • With income from their credits, the mataqualis can pay their forest Rangers. They have also developed new micro-enterprises such as beekeeping, tree nurseries and agroforestry.
  • The Nakau methodology requires fair decision-making and benefit-sharing systems. All benefits from credit sales are shared equitably across the Drawa communities.
  • Women’s savings groups are established to ensure women have a say in how community income from credits is spent.
  • Protection of forests against logging reduces the amount of carbon entering the atmosphere, therefore helping reduce the damaging impacts of climate change.
  • Maintenance of forest cover promotes climate change resilience through reduction of soil erosion which lessen the impacts of droughts, flooding and extreme weather events.
  • Protection of these already biodiversity-rich forests will help to ensure the survival of many threatened and endangered endemic flora and fauna species.