Aqualung USA has generously expanded their support of Island Reach this season and they are sending us 43 adult wet suits along with gloves and boots for the Vanua-tai as well as over 100+ youth snorkel packs for reef education activities in remote villages! Thanks Aqualung, the historic Cousteau partner and "First to Dive"!
Our partner, Mission Blue, an initiative of the Sylvia Earle Alliance, has shared a feature on their website about Island Reach. Check it out by clicking here.
Cyclone Pam and now El Nino have brought a humanitarian and environmental crisis to Vanuatu. In this new brief video, Island Reach brings the personal stories of the people of Buninga Island who are now experiencing a severe shortage of water. Produced for Live & Learn Vanuatu (LLV) as a follow-up to our collaboration in 2014 in which Island Reach transported and helped install rainwater catchments for Buninga Islanders, this video was produced along with a written report which considers lessons learned and ways forward.
This month, Island Reach, working with LLV, helped support a delivery of 18,000 liters of water to Buninga by local NGO Wita Aid which is providing relief throughout the Shepherds Group aboard a barge equipped with a water desalinator. If you'd like to learn more, be in touch with us at www.islandreach.org
Watch the video here.
The significant El Nino underway is bringing a severe drought to Vanuatu. The majority of communities rely on rainwater collection for water security. New plantings made after crops were destroyed by Cyclone Pam are struggling to grow. Malnutrition is rising, especially among children. Food relief typically comes in the form of white rice, packaged noodles, and tinned fish, which fails to nourish children adequately. In the long run, these foods also contribute to the erosion of a healthy, traditional diet.
See also this article below from Australian news, ABC.
IR Project Coordinators Willy and Ronneth are busy in Vanuatu with coral gardening projects on Efate and writing a Community Conservation Management (CCA) Plan for Lelepa Island. Ronneth is also planning on heading to Buninga Island to support new Vanua-tai monitor and Area Secretary, Wilson Andrew. Buninga is now facing severe a severe water shortage due to the El Nino. Willie and Ronneth are also preparing materials for two major IR expeditions: one to Western Malekula in November where they will be following up on activities featured in the Trainers of Trainers video, including network building, CCA development at two sites, as well as turtle tagging with Vanua-tai Coordinator, Donald James. (In Vanuatu, Western Malekula is called “The Turtle Coast”.)
In January 2016 they'll head to the northern province of Torba and the Banks Islands where they meet Vanua-tai Alfonse and Sofie (also in the video) to begin building a Vanua-tai network and CCA system in that remote island cluster.
These expeditions are also advance preparations for these communities for IR's visits aboard RV Llyr during the 2016 expeditions.
IR is seeking funds to support Willy and Ronneth on expedition. Our costs include air and boat transport, and gear including a tent, headlamps and a decent waterproof point&shoot camera for field documentation. To lend a hand please make a targeted donation to Island Reach here to support these activities and expeditions.
We have a shipment underway from the US to IR Project Coordinators, Willie and Ronneth. We’re sending them portable netbook computers and cellphones that will allow them to communicate with us from their remote islands via email and to write CCA management plans in the field! Currently they must make a long trip into the capital, Port Vila by boat and truck to get to internet and it costs them US$20 round trip plus internet fees. The costs for these materials and delivery runs around US$600. Please make a donation to support this action.
On November 16 our partner Mission Blue will launch a Partner Feature that introduces Island Reach’s recent activities as documented in our video The Vanua-tai Trainers of Trainers.
This film is distributed among Vanua-tai trainers across the archipelago as a training film that features community assessment methods, conservation activities, and high-energy motivation.
Bislama with English subtitles 24 min.