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.
Today we finished packing up the gear donated to Island Reach by Aqualung USA: 46 wetsuits for the Vanua-tai monitors and over 120 youth snorkel kits we'll use for reef awareness activities. The 8 large boxes will travel by seafreight and we'll receive them in Port Vila in May.
Many, many thanks to Aqualung for this generous donation and for continuing to support our work in Vanuatu!
After COP21, The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) referred to small island states like Vanuatu as situated at the frontlines of climate change, but also as places that are "innovative incubators ...showcasing solutions". The Vanua-tai Monitor Network is an excellent example of such innovation. An article by Janis about the Vanua-tai and the importance of biocultural diversity has been published in the March 2016 issue of the marine conservation and travel magazine, Seven Seas. You can read the article here.
IR Project Coordinator Ronneth John Accepted to Pacific Islands Community Conservation Training & Certification
Island Reach Project Coordinator Ronneth John has been accepted to attend a regional conservation training course on Community-based Conservation and Adaptive Management. Ronneth's acceptance is based on his long-time commitment to conservation and his proposal to work with IR to reach remote communities throughout Vanuatu were he can provide leadership and the transfer of skills and knowledge to these communities.
The aim of this 3 phase program is to build and improve the capacity of conservation practitioners, like Ronneth, to achieve widespread natural resource management and sustainable community livelihoods among Pacific Small Island Developing States. The course is a result of a collaboration of multiple agencies and organizations, including the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the University of the South Pacific, and with principal funding from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund.
The program will take Ronneth to Solomon Islands for a 4 week training in April, after which he'll join us aboard Llyr to implement his project work in central and northern Vanuatu for 4 months, and then he'll return to Honiara for a 3 week period of review, reflection, and reporting, as well as additional training.