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.
These are some of the signboards installed around Southwest bay as part of the creation of the MPA networks. Support for this project was provided by the Waitt Foundation. Check out the latest video from the region on our videos page.
The Island Reach story began in 2010 at Berkshire Sweet Gold Maple Farm with our family’s decision to take action for oceans in crisis. Today, in Vanuatu, Island Reach works with communities, government and non-profit sectors to empower local environmental champions, and bring people closer together to provide support, inspire conservation projects, and build greater resilience and food security across this stunning archipelago. The remarkable friendships sustain us as a community of grassroots activists and energize us for the year ahead!
As 2017 draws to a close, we’re reaching out to ask for your support with a donation to Island Reach. Whatever you contribute will go to community projects led by local activists!
All donations are tax-deductible, AND will be matched by a generous donor, so your impact will be doubled!
You can learn more about our 2017 actions in our annual report
And if you haven’t had a chance yet, check out the powerful and gripping documentary Chasing Coral – available on Netflix - and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. Ronneth John, project manager for Island Reach, appears in the film speaking about the coral bleaching crisis in Vanuatu.
We greatly appreciate any contribution you can make to fuel IR’s rapidly growing ridge to reef activism.
Janis, Brooks, Connor, Rowan & Gavin, the Island Reach team
Check out our job posting for a new Fellow for 2018! Opportunities with IR
Photos with our 2017 Fellow, Sam S.
We've just produced our 2017 Annual Report! Check it out:
2017 Annual Report
Hey everyone, we are aware how remiss we our about sharing our news and updates! Lots has been happening and we look forward to sharing more details here soon. In the meantime, visit our Facebook page where we've been posting photos and updates on a more regular basis.
With our 2016 field activities aboard RV Llyr still underway, we're happy to share this latest video about our work and partnerships across the archipelago.
We've been in Vanuatu for almost two months and a lot has been happening! Some highlights: a partnership with the Nguna-Pele Marine and Land Protected Area Network; a dynamic week at the Annual General Meeting of the Vanua-tai Environmental Monitors, which included assisting with the creation of a women's network; we've created a presentation which connects people's gardening in the bush with the herbivore fish gardening the reefs (this has been well received as helping clarify the need for fish to clean the reef and impacts of overfishing); we've worked with Vanua-tai partners from south and west Malekula, which included enlisting a new woman monitor from Melip, and helped launch a brand new network for the Southwest Bay region, called the Senewnu Environmental Network; IR Project Coordinator Ronneth John prepared a management plan for the Napi Conservation Area where last year IR helped launch the Napi-Nata-Lili Environmental network; we've produced several video productions including one about an aquaculture project in Santo, and one on organic gardening for climate change adaptation. We've completed several rapid reef surveys, and witnessed significant bleaching throughout the islands. This week (3rd week of June), we'll be heading up to the Banks Islands where we've been planning a series of events with our Vanua-tai partners, including some environmental music concerts with traditional bamboo bands! Very busy!
We only have occasional access to internet here, but we'll do our best to update either here on our website or on Facebook in the weeks to come.
cheers from the team!
We've just uploaded a new video to Youtube and posted it on our videos page. The video was filmed on NW Malekula island and documents three villages coming together to launch the Napi Nata Lili Environment Network. Together, these communities have set aside vast areas of marine and coastal habitats as protected areas. Island Reach was honored to be part of this celebration and to document this ceremony. The video also features a short section of IR Project Coordinator, Willie Kenneth, introducing Reef Check survey methodologies to community members.