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adaptation projects in the Pacific
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Our climate change
adaptation projects in the Pacific

PERENNE, Protection and Restoration of Riparian Zones of the Nera

 New Caledonia
PERENNE, Protection and Restoration of Riparian Zones of the Nera
Local Project
Néra bank experiencing significant erosion
WWF New Caledonia and Kiwa Initiative

Project news

A tree nursery has been offered to Bourail's secondary schools to thank them for their contribution in 2023

22 December 2023

A tree nursery has been offered to Bourail's secondary schools to thank them for their contribution in 2023


This year 2023, students from secondary schools Sacré Coeur and Louis Léopold Djet in Bourail have contributed to various projects on the theme of riparian vegetation:
- Enhancing riverside plant formations,
- Creation of explanatory materials on the riparian forest,
- Participation in the local Science Event.

A tree nursery has been offered to Bourail's secondary schools to thank them for their contribution in 2023 !

First eco-citizen worksite in Bourail - New Caledonia

1 July 2023

First eco-citizen worksite in Bourail - New Caledonia

@ WWF New Caledonia and Kiwa Initiative

On Saturday July 1, an eco-citizen worksite in Bourail, New Caledonia, enabled to plant the first 870 trees on the banks of the Néra river. More than 15,000 additional trees will be planted over the next 2 years.

This planting project is helping to develop coastal ecosystems and watersheds, in the sensitive Néra catchment area (Bourail), so that they are more resilient to the global pressures of climate change. This will preserve access to natural resources, contribute to food security and maintain the activities of the Caledonians who depend on them (fishermen, farmers, surrounding communities, etc.).

Well done to all those who took part in this first planting for the benefit of people and nature!

  • Project name:
    PERENNE, Protection and Restoration of Riparian Zones of the Nera
  • Project Coordinator:
    WWF-France in New Caledonia
  • Project Start:
    May 2023
  • Estimated term:
    April 2025
  • Amount of funding:
    299.986 €
  • Project leader:
     International NGO
  • Type of NbS:
     Restoration / Rehabilitation of terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems - Preservation of functional agricultural & forest ecosystems
  • Cobenefits:
    Food security -  Socio-economic resilience - Risk reduction - Biodiversity conservation

This project sheds light on an often overlooked ecosystem, the riparian forest, which plays a key role for both biodiversity and humans. As a link between mountain and coastal forests, it contributes to the ecological health of terrestrial ecosystems and also plays a major role in the health of rivers and coral reefs, while protecting adjacent agricultural land from erosion. In the context of climate change and associated hydrological disturbances, riparian forests will become a key contributor to the resilience of our South Pacific island territory.

PERENNE aims to reduce soil erosion on agricultural lowlands by focussing on the implementation of a proven NBS - riverbank protection and forest restoration - which has barely been used in New Caledonia - in an area heavily impacted by this problem: the Néra (Bourail) watershed and the adjoining coral reefs of the West Coastal Zone.

The objective of the project?

By 2030, the overall objective of PERENNE is to improve the resilience of coastal ecosystems and watersheds to the global pressures of climate change, through enhanced protection and extensive restoration of riparian zones, thereby limiting erosive phenomena as well as the multiple ecological and societal impacts resulting from them.

  • Objective 1: LEARN: To acquire the necessary knowledge to optimise the protection and restoration of the riparian forest in the Nera catchment and beyond in New Caledonia.
  • Objective 2: RESTORE: Conduct targeted, ambitious and demonstrative riparian protection and restoration projects on the Nera River to initiate and demonstrate the feasibility of implementing this NBS in New Caledonia.
  • Objective 3: PROMOTE: Promote the protection and restoration of the riparian forest and its benefits for biodiversity and human well-being in order to mobilise the main stakeholders of the Nera and throughout New Caledonia.

Reduction of gender discriminations

Women will play an important role in the production of the seedlings needed for the restoration. Women from the Gohapin tribe will provide 50% of the planting. They will also be responsible for hosting tribal women and youth from the Western Coastal Zone in order to share their 15 years of experience as nursery operators.

More generally, WWF pays particular attention to gender equality. We refer to our international values:

The typical barrier to women's participation is the physical aspect of the project's activities, which can often wrongly exclude women. By choosing the seedling production activity, which is a traditionally female-oriented activity in New Caledonia, we are bypassing this obstacle and we are also entrusting half of the project's seedling production to a strictly female association, "We Ereteu". For the planting activity, we will encourage gender diversity through, on the one hand, visual aids to promote the work sites for the general public, which will include girls or women, and on the other hand, the inclusion of a gender diversity requirement in the calls for service for the professional work sites (in addition to being directed to the benefit of young people from the tribes).

The emphasis on women will also be reflected in the following:

  • Bourail's farming families (via a prior census of women farmers and invitations sent to both people in farming couples);
  • young people in training at the chamber of commerce CAP-NC who are engaged in eco-citizen projects (via a message to encourage girls and boys to participate);
  • young people from the Foyer de Néméara involved in plantations (by not excluding young women, but knowing that young offenders tend to be male);
  • schoolchildren (via a call for participation by both boys and girls).


Forest restoration expertise was first developed in New Caledonia on mining bushland over the last 50 years, and then over the last 20 years on dry and humid forests. However, riverine forest formations have never been the subject of a specific restoration program. Today, they are often limited to a narrow strip of forest along the waterways of the west coast, yet they play a key role for nature and people.

Frequently the last remaining area of forest on agricultural holdings, they provide an ecological link between the different forests across the landscape, from the forests of the mountain range to the mangroves, by facilitating the movement of animals and plant seeds. They provide cooler and therefore more highly oxygenated shaded water for river animals, shelter and nursery areas among their submerged roots and branches, and food from the insects that fall into the water. In addition, they provide a crucial service to the farmer by greatly reducing the risk of erosion of agricultural land through the protection of riverbanks and, thanks to their above-ground vegetation, by slowing down the flow of floodwater into the fields.

In the context of climate change, and in view of the services it provides, land reserved for riparian zones is not lost to agriculture but, on the contrary, protects pastures and crops. By maintaining the agricultural land in our fields, the riparian forest doubly contributes to our food self-sufficiency, through both agricultural production and the preservation of lagoon resources.

As an experimental project, PERENNE aims to demonstrate the path to a win-win relationship between the agricultural world, the native tree and the coral reef!

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