Conservation Initiatives in Vanuatu & Soloman Islands
OceansWatch is an organiation who run expeditions to developing small island nations to assist them with marine and terrestrial ecosystem management, sustainable livelihood projects, environmental education and to build their capacity to handle the changes associated with climate change. Learn more about their work in Vanuatu and the Soloman Islands and how you can help.
We have recently replaced hired a new overseas marine director - Noelle van der Straaten who has been involved since 2011 and is a Marine Ecologist and avid marine enthusiast.
We are now well into our 2017 season. Anam Cara, the Wharram catamaran that has been donated for use on our projects by Sytze Riemersma, and from which we are carrying out our projects this year is currently in Port Vila, Vanuatu. A big thank you goes to Garth Bishop, Alex Edwards and Paul Mellor for the safe a speedy delivery of Anam Cara to Vanuatu this year.
Already this year the OceansWatch team has carried out work in North Efate as part of the RESCCUE project. This continues the work developing the marine monitoring toolkit which allows communities to monitor their own marine resources and act to make management decisions ensuring informed decisions are made.
More recently in July this year they were been busy facilitating the study tour for OceansWatch Solomon Island team member Eddie Pae to the Loru forest carbon trading scheme on Esprito Santo. The purpose of this trip was for Eddie to learn about this successful project that is protecting primary rainforest and finds an alternative and sustainable income from the forest rather than logging. Eddie and Chris have put together a summary film of this study tour which can be found on our youtube site .
Eddie will share his experience with the OceansWatch Solomon Islands team and show communities in the Temotu Province, the far east of the Solomon Islands, that there is a real alternative to the unsustainable and destructive logging activities.
Our Environmental Scientist, Eryn Hooper and a returning volunteer and Marine Biologist, Noelle van der Straaten are in Port Vila meeting with our stakeholders and scoping for future projects. It’s an exciting time for OceansWatch in Vanuatu as we have recently registered as a charity within Vanuatu. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for what the team is getting up to in and around Efate over the next month.
We were busy over the last few months securing further funding from the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF) who have been pivotal with supporting our efforts to halt logging and mining activities on primary rainforest in Temotu Province. The OceansWatch team were in Temotu during September and October 2016 ensuring that the OceansWatch Solomon Island team were prepared and able to deal with the threat and pressures from the logging and mining activities. Surveys were carried out making assessments of the flying fox and endangered bird species.
Our Solomon Islands team had a very successful awareness campaign in March this year where 10 villages were visited and shown the Ripples in Rennel filmwhich shows the ecological and social impacts of logging and mining. It has been very encouraging to see real local empowerment from the school children in Noipe who sent us this film showing them standing up to their land and human rights. Our work in the Solomon Islands is also getting international recognition and was featured in a the British newspaper The Guardian.
The marine team made a trip to the West coast of Gaua during June last year. Here they carried our further monitoring of the communities Tabu areas and provided the environmental monitors with reef monitoring training.
How You Can Help
OceansWatch are always looking at ways to further their work so if you are able to support them in any way you can donations are always gratefully received. You can apply to volunteer with OceansWatch and join an expedition to see the inspirational work yourself.