MES Staff

MES Fiji are lucky to have highly qualified staff to help maintain the Mamanuca environment. Our staff have an abundance of experience and remain passionate about the MES mission which is to promote awareness of the need to protect the marine and terrestrial resources of the Mamanuca Region and to assist, through partnerships with local communities, tourism operators, government and non-government organisations, in the environmentally sustainable development of these resources for the benefit of present and future generations…

Below are the people who work tirelessly for MES. Vinaka!

 

Name: Marica Vakacola

Position: Project Manager

Marica Vakacola hails from Nadoria, Dreketi , Rewa.  Joined MES as Assistant Project Manager in January 2013.

In October last year , I took up the new position as Project Manager. A very challenging role and will continue build up the Team work and work in partnership with our Cooperate sponsors , government stakeholders and academic institution in promoting sustainable practices in protecting the environment for the benefits of the tourist and community stakeholders situated in the Mamanuca Region.

Name: Kolinio Mataiyaga

Position: Field Technical Officer

Kolinio Mataiyaga Vulaono joined MES in 2014 as a volunteer and through experience he now holds the position of the Field Technical Officer. His interest lies in the protection and conserving Fiji’s natural resources (marine and terrestrial ecosystem). Koli as he is commonly known works in creating and maintaining awareness through education, of the need to sustain best terrestrial and marine environment practices by involving all MES’s stakeholders.

Name: Ilisapeci Botevou

Position: Project Officer

Ilisapeci Sokidi joined MES in 2014. She hails from Daku Village in the District of Nakelo, Tailevu. She had done her attachment with the society and later appointed as Project Officer later in the year. She graduated with Higher Education Diploma in Environmental Science from the Fiji National University. Her passion and interest lies in creating awareness and spreading the gospel of marine & terrestrial conservation inline with the Ridge to Reef Concept within Mamanuca resorts & Communities.

Name: Jessie Matai

Position: Marine & Environment Education Officer

Jessie Matai hails from Namalata, Kubulau, Bua. She joined MES in September 2015. She has done her attachment with the Society in 2015 – 2016 before being employed to her current post in December, 2016. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science in 2014 and a Higher Education Diploma in Environmental Science from the Fiji National University. Also worked as a volunteer for certain NGO’s namely Seaweb Asia Pacific, Erasito Consultants and Wildlife Conservation Society. Having a passion for the environment and promoting/conducting awareness is a way of informing tourism operators, schools and communities of the need to protect our natural resources for today and most importantly our future generation.

Name: Tupou Dakui

Position: Climate Change Project Assistant

Tupou Dakui hails from Rakiraki, Ra. She joined MES as a volunteer for 3 months [August- October] and has done her attachment for 1 month from November to December 2016 before gaining her position as a Climate change Assistant Officer. Graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science in 2016 from the University of the South Pacific & also worked as a volunteer for the Wildlife Conservation Society

 

Name: Lusiana Dalituicama

Position: Climate Change Project Assistant

Village: Sasa, Macuata, Vanua Levu | Maternal links: Vanuaso, Gau, Lomaiviti

• Graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science

• Joined in August 2016 as a volunteer

• Took up the position in December 2016

• Hobbies: Swimming/ snorkeling, photography, reading, socializing

As an individual, my primary goal is to continue to learn and grow by the day- to continue to push forward despite the challenge. With the organization and given position being a new learning platform for me, I am fortunate to now have the opportunity to be able to go beyond the four walls of classroom based theories and studies and see with my own eyes real-life environmental challenges and issues threatening local communities MES liaises with, in regards to rising sea levels, land degradation, deforestation, coral bleaching, low biodiversity, saltwater intrusions and countless more that have been majorly caused by negligence, unsustainable development projects and climate change impacts experienced by these coastal communities. Moreover, I hope to reach out to individuals right at grass root level and assist in developing programs and activities that will enhance the skills and talents of this generation and produce proactive environment champions that will see to the continuation of things being taught to them, so that the following generation is not only able HAVE a future but in time, SEE and enjoy their future; surplus with the same God-given natural resources we are enjoying today.

Volunteers/Attachment Workers

MES Fiji Attaché: Emoni Nagauna Age: 24

Village: Votua, Nadroga

Achievement: Third year Bachelor Degree Student studying Sociology and Social Work at the University of the South Pacific.

Interest:

• To experience and learn more about Wildlife and community sustainability.

• Experiencing Community baseline, and socio-economic surveys.

• Working with the community (grassroots level).

• To know about native terrestrial animals and marine organisms.

Experience: Placements- Volunteer aligns with Social work core units at the University of the South pacific.

• Fiji Correction Service- rehabilitation unit (Korovou)

• Housing Assistance Relief Trust Head Quarters- Welfare officer.

• Community Profiling- Wailoku Community.

MES Fiji Volunteer – Leba Digitaki – University Student.

Age – 21

Village – Taira, Vanuavatu, Lau.

Achievements –

  • Qualified  PADI Open Water Diver
  • Qualified First Aider

Interests –

  • Scuba Diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Swimming

Current Institution – University of the South Pacific – Bachelor in Marine Science.

Future Achievements – I hope to obtain a degree in Marine Science and a dive Master’s license with PADI divers. This will enable me to try and maintain a sustainable marine environment by carrying out field work with organizations such as Mamanuca Environment Society. Being a volunteer with MES will allow me to see for my self, first hand, real threats that are affecting our sea, and some of the ways that are being used to try and educate the people of the Mamanuca Islands in how to look after their God-given resources.

This opportunity is a stepping stone for students like me who are looking to pursue a carreer which involves Marine and the Environment.

 

 Volunteer – Ilisapeci Sokidi – University Student 

Age – 22

Village – Daku, Nakelo, Tailevu

Achievements  –  Diploma in Environmental Science (Graduating in April 2014)

Current Institution –  Fiji National University -3rd year student – Pursuing Bachelor in Environmental Science (2014)

Future Achievements – I hope to obtain a Degree in Environmental Sc and Environmental Management this year. Having a degree in Environmental Sc and Management will help me to try and manage the amount of waste that gets dispose off to our beloved environment, which we ‘MAN’ are responsible for. For years our fore fathers have lived peacefully with the environment but as time change and technology evolve, natural resource is seen only to be a source of money. My aim is to promote public awareness and sustaining resources while earning money from it. It would be a sad moment in human history when future generation does not see what we see today. Working in MES will give me the experience and the ability to see first hand how to minimize these problems.

Interest – Community awareness activities, socializing with people from various backgrounds,   Swimming, Participating in Oral activities.

Experience – Volunteer at Mamanuca Environmental Society(MES Fiji)-First time

 

 Volunteer  – Nomai Nailatica – Primary & Secondary School Teacher

Village – Buretu, Nakelo, Tailevu

Qualification:

  • Primary school from Namaka Public School
  • High school from Suva Grammar School

At present – Completing my third year at University of the South Pacific with the program studying Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science (Biology Emphasis).

Interests – Fieldwork research and making final reports, awareness community programs, research on various programs, socializing with new people, participate on various task and activities given on work field.

Experience – Currently volunteering for Mamanuca Environmental Society (MES).

Future Achievements – I hope to graduate with my program of Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science (Biology Emphasis) and share my work experience and knowledge with future stakeholders to undertake environmental issues that are a major concern both local and global as well. Furthermore, to achieve the highest quality education on my career level and encounter environmental emphasis.

Volunteer – Eleni Nayacaibuna- Fiji National University

Age – 23

Village – Rukua,Beqa

Achievement Diploma in Environmental Science. Bachelor in Applied Science Environment.

Interest – Doing field research and report, creating awareness on community and school students,socializing with people and doing various task on the field.

Experience – Volunteered for Wildlife Conservation Society on Socio-economic Survey Volunteered for Seaweb on Data entry on their campaign “4Fiji campaign”.   Currently volunteering for Mamanuca Environment Society

 

Volunteer –  Merewairita Likumasidreu

Age – 24

Village – Momi, Raviravi, Nadroga

Qualification – BA in Geography & Land Use Planning

Interest – Creating awareness to the community and the young generation on the preservation and conservation of environment and its natural resources.

Volunteer – Kolinio Mataiyaga Vulaono

Age – 24

Village – Nukunuku, Lakeba, Lau

Achievements – Diploma in Environmental Science (Graduating December 2014)

Current Institution – Fiji National University pursuing Bachelor in Environmental Management (3RD Year Student)

Interests – Participating in fieldwork research and making of final report, community awareness programme, socialising with people of various background and taking part in project related activities.

Experience – currently volunteering for Mamanuca Environment Society (MES).

Future Achievement – Hoping to attain a Bachelor in Environmental Management this year. My interest lies in the protection and conserving of Fiji’s natural resources, that is marine and terrestrial ecosystem. Knowledge gain from school together with the volunteering experience will aid me in combating and raising issue that is related to the environment as far as sustainable development is concern. Being a volunteer at MES is a way of giving back to the community and also it serves as a platform in raising awareness on combating environmental issues such as climate change, protection of endemic and endangered species, and protection of the biodiversity.

Volunteer – Ashley Anne McGuigan

Interests – My objective is to simultaneously preserve the biodiversity and cultural heritage of the South Pacific while further developing my skill in ecology, sustainability and video production. I fully believe in the Mamanuca Environment Society’s goal of environmental stewardship through integrated management and education so that the Mamanucas may sustainably provide adequate resources for both the tourist and local communities. My ultimate goal is to promote sustainability, inspire youth environmental involvement and preserve traditional ecological knowledge in Fiji.

Education – North Carolina State University 2014 Bachelor of Science in Biology – Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Concentration. University of the South Pacific Year long Study abroad program, 2012 – Marine and Terrestrial Ecosystem Concentration

Volunteer – Kristin McCutcheon

Interest – To use my excitement and passion for wildlife to educate and inspire others to conserve our world.

Education – Columbia College Chicago 2004 Bachelor of Arts – Major in Digital Media Technology. Graduated with honors

Volunteer – Taina Tanoa

Age: 19

Village: Narewa, Nadi.

Qualification:

  • Primary school from Namaka Public School
  • High school from Sangam Sadhu Kuppuswamy Memorial College

 

At present – First year Bachelor of Science student at the University of Fiji

Interests – awareness community programs, research on various programs, socializing with new people, participate on various task and activities given on work field.

Experience – Currently volunteering for Mamanuca Environmental Society (MES).

 

Name: Asenaca Nakarawa

Age: 24

Village: Naqara, Ono, Kadavu

Achievements/Qualification:

  • Qualified first aider
  • Degree in Marine Science (Graduated on March 27th, 2015 from the University of the South Pacific)

Interests:

  • Swimming
  • Snorkelling
  • Hiking

Projects involved in:

  • Turtle project

Experience:

  • Volunteer at WWF
  • Volunteer and attachment at Mamanuca Environment Society (MES)

Future achievements:

I hope to achieve and obtain an Open PADI Water Dive qualification, so that it will enable me to carry out field work that will help maintain sustainability in the marine environment. I also aspire to further my studies and learn more about the marine environment, so that I will better understand on how we can manage and use our marine resources more sustainably. Mamanuca Environment Society is the best place to learn and also do hands on field work concerning both the marine and land resources. It is an organization that deals with creating awareness to the Mamanuca island communities, resorts and schools. While volunteering with the Mamanuca Environment Society, I have learned and attained a lot of skills including carrying out awareness, research and field work concerning the marine and land resources.

Name: Merewalesi Bogi Rokosawa

Age: 20

Village: Nadoria, Dreketi, Rewa

Interest: – Travelling

  • Swimming
  • Conducting school environmental classes
  • Socializing
  • Field research
  • Current Institution: University of the South Pacific, Laucala (Bachelor of Arts In Environmental Management)
  • Experience: Currently volunteering for Mamanuca Environment Society (MES)
  • Future Experience: I hope to graduate with a Degree in Environmental Management in the year 2017. With this degree I could assist an organization like MES in ways to create awareness to the public, local communities and schools on ways to protect our terrestrial and marine environment from climate issues like global warming. As a current volunteer for MES I have gained a lot of information and first hand experience from village and hotel staff awareness programme, turtle surveys, reef/beach cleanup and working with kids during their environment classes in various primary schools and kids club in the Mamanuca Islands.

Name: Jessie Matai 

Age: 24

Village: Namalata, Kubulau, Bua

Achievement: – Higher Education Diploma in Environmental Science

  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

Interests: Doing field work and report writing on Environmental issues and how to combat such issues especially locally. Conducting and promoting awareness programs to schools and communities on the need to protect our natural resources. Travelling, socializing and meeting new people and also learning other language and culture.

Experience: – Volunteer Coordinator for the 4FJ Movement initiative for Seaweb Asia Pacific from April 2014 – September 2015.

  • Was a volunteer from 5th October – 5th September and I’m currently an attaché at Mamanuca Environment Society.