Catching up on some news.... The IR team attended the Vanua'tai Annual General Meeting which was held at the Wan Smolbag facility in Port Vila this year. This was our 4th year in attendance. IR presentations included the first screening of the women Vanua'tai video as well as a presentation on coral gardening.
Alphonse Yemen and the team from Torba Province present on actions across the province. The pink slips are islands where IR has been assisting Vanua'tai monitors.
Torba monitors, with Vanua'tai coordinator Donald James.
Joyce Ailee, from Melip, Malekula, giving her presentation.
Participants at the AGM, including the largest number of women ever!
We are so excited to release this latest video documenting the role played by women in natural resource management and environmental decision-making as part of Wan Smolbag's Vanua'tai Resource Monitors Network. In Vanuatu, threats posed to biodiversity from population growth and overharvesting, climate change, and extractive economies of scale are compounding. For the people of these South Pacific islands, the loss of biodiversity impacts food security and well-being. Case studies from around the world reveal that empowering women leads to more effective and sustained biodiversity conservation. With principle funding from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, and additional funding from Global Greengrants Fund and the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme, Island Reach has been collaborating with this indigenous environmental group to increase women's participation, build their capacity, and facilitate peer-to-peer exchanges. Increasingly, women are sharing stories and lessons learned with each other, becoming more knowledgeable about conservation efforts, encouraging each other in actions, and developing leadership skills that enable them to assist their communities to pursue sustainable conservation goals. Women's participation in the Vanua'tai network as environmental stewards and agents of change is inspirational. These women serve as a model for women in conservation and communities across the Pacific region and beyond.