Vatuvara Foundation is committed to protect and revive oceans in Northern Lau through a network of marine protected areas and provide innovative solutions that promote awareness and empower local communities.
We promise to protect Northern Lau and oceans by engaging in scientific expeditions, initiating educational marine awareness programmes, inspiring young ocean advocates, and building strong partnerships.
Priority protection of marine conservation will be determined and managed by communities under a network of marine managed areas. These safe havens will encompass a wide variety of multiple use approaches to marine protection, allowing communities to both protect ecosystems and enjoy their natural resources.
We envision healthy, resilient and protected oceans with empowered and sustainable communities as responsible stewards of their marine resources.
The Vatuvara Foundation is committed to:
Protect Fiji’s ocean against devastating human impact.
Revive Fiji’s ocean through a significant network of marine managed areas and safe havens for marine wildlife.
Preserve the rich biodiversity of Fiji’s marine ecosystems through innovative conservation solutions that promote awareness for local communities in order to sustain livelihoods from marine resources.
Educate and engage individual responsibility for their healthy environs and ocean mindfulness.
Encourage partnerships and collaborations with stakeholders, partners and communities through a participatory consultative approach.
OCEAN of Islands
Our ocean covers more than 70% of the earth’s surface and yet currently, less than 4% of our ocean is fully protected. Oceans are climate regulators, supporting thriving coastal economies providing food and a network of livelihoods.
Fiji is a nation of color, culture and remarkable biodiversity and the Fijian Archipelago encompasses one of the most extensive coral reef systems in the world.
The Lau Group, made up of unspoiled islands in Fiji’s far east, is filled with a diversity of wildlife, including the threatened and vulnerable Coconut Crab, endangered Humphead Wrasse, Giant Grouper and Bumphead Parrotfish, along with Giant Clams. Island beaches provide nesting sites for Hawksbill and Green sea turtles.
These remote islands are breathtaking, filled with lush forests and fringed by spectacular beaches and azure waters.
Vatuvara Foundation will work in partnership with Vatuvara Private Islands, a luxury resort located on Kaibu Island and its associated private islands of Vatuvara, Kanacea and Adavaci in the Northern Lau Group. The lagoons of Vatuvara Private Islands and their surrounding ocean provide varying ecosystems as safe havens for marine life. The Lau group of islands is also home to some of the most well-preserved reef systems in the world. Tourism provides an avenue to encourage preservation of natural resources and cultural practices.
Vatuvara Private Islands is committed to preserving the environment with sustainable practices for nature based recreation. Two of the four private islands have been certified organic to US and AUS standards to support ecological stability. These conservation measures contribute to their overall vision encompassing a holistic ‘land to sea’ approach for uses, management and safeguarding ecosystems.
Comprised of both volcanic and reef-limestone rock geology, the islands support diverse native flora and fauna of notable and vulnerable conservation significance with several rare and endemic species, and host a variety of sea and shore birds. Kaibu, along with the larger neighboring island of Yacata and islets, is contained within a single barrier reef system with a shallow, sandy lagoon between the islands.
Fiji faces complicated issues, where life is influenced by and dependent on the ocean. Profound changes are underway in the oceans and communities within island nations are at the greatest risk.
By creating safe havens for marine life, protected areas can restore habitats and indigenous species resulting in more resilient oceans to provide sustainable livelihoods for coastal communities and to mitigate against effects of climate change and natural disasters.
The Vatuvara Foundation has the unique opportunity to take a leading role in partnerships and collaborations with communities and stakeholders, directing strategic support and conservation efforts to the Northern Lau Group.
CONSERVATION OF SUSTAINABLE MARINE ENVIRONMENTS
To establish sustainable approaches to marine resource management for Northern Lau that supports biodiversity conservation, building community resilience to climate change and sustainable community livelihoods. To ascertain the state of our ocean, the foundation will connect traditional knowledge and innovative science with conservation partners to determine priorities for informed conservation action.
SUSTAINABLE INCOME GENERATING PROJECTS
To initiate and support programmes to foster sustainable livelihoods to address health, prosperity and resilience needs of communities in particular, women and youth. Providing rural communities with income generating skill development and financial literacy training to foster economic empowerment and develop a network of connections.
BUILD AWARENESS AND STEWARDSHIP
To promote interaction of marine awareness and ocean activities by providing innovative opportunities in the water to inspire our youth. Helping to ignite a movement of ocean minds who understand, experience and protect our oceans.
We aim to protect and revive ocean conservation in Northern Lau through a network of community managed marine areas. We are committed to preserving the rich marine biodiversity of the islands with projects, including our first marine baseline survey expedition within these waters to assess the health of diverse coral and fish communities. The data collected will be used for the long-term monitoring of these important coral reef systems in Fiji. Our conservation efforts will include awareness, monitoring, vulnerable species protection, poaching surveillance and restoration programmes.
Partnering with Communities
We are working closely with surrounding island communities to help increase knowledge of and manage their natural resources. Projects will focus on enhancing marine conservation awareness and practices; but to also support food security and sustainable livelihoods of the people. Understanding and learning about traditional knowledge and customs of individual communities is crucial to maintaining the natural and cultural heritage of these islands.
We are empowering students to make positive change through youth-oriented educational and water awareness activities. The water safety and surfing development programme will assist students of rural island communities to understand their personal opportunity to protect their oceanic backyard. Our youth experience the devastating changes occurring in the ocean first hand and play an active role in caring for their environment.
Vatuvara Foundation strives to collectively work together and find ways to create positive impact on a larger scale and to preserve diverse ecosystems for future generations to come. By improving human interactions with nature and sourcing innovations to counter ocean conservation challenges, we inspire sustainable approaches for the ocean space. We consider ourselves stewards of the environment and encourage the importance of placing direct investments into our natural features, forming valuable connections with experiential tourism, local communities and environmental protection.
Miller K, Nand Y, Mangubhai S, Fox M, Lee S, Naisilisili W, Sykes H (2018) Marine Biological Surveys of the Northern Lau Group. Report No. 01/18. Vatuvara Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Society, Suva, Fiji. 46pp [Download]
Every being is entirely connected to the ocean
©2017 Vatuvara Foundation