MES promotes greater education for the environment to all who work, visit or stay in the Mamanucas. Such is done through lectures organised by a resort or operator, schools and local communities and the Society.
Resort Guest Presentation
The program was initiated to promote environmental awareness to in houses guests on the importance of conservation of biodiversity. MES staff conducts presentations to interested member resorts covering areas in Fijis native, threatened and endangered species, natural and human threat in different marine ecosystems how natural resources can be sustainably managed. Guests are also made aware of the Society’s existing projects and how climate change adaptation initiatives is addressed in our school, local communities and member resorts Members resorts that are currently engaged in this weekly program are Castaway Island Resort, Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Malolo Island Resort, Matamanoa Island Resort and Tokoriki Island Resort. Other member resorts organise for guest presentation on special occasions such as Environment Days and when they have special groups visiting their resorts.
Lecture and Field Excursions
MES with collaboration with their member resorts organise Environment lectures and field excursions for international and local students outside of the Mamanuca Group. This special event is organised upon request of our members who host interested institution wishing to study the marine life and the conservation project work around the Mamanuca Group of islands. Our member resorts have been hosting universities and schools groups in research areas in Environment Management and Sustainable Tourism over the years and there are still overwhelming interest from institutions wishing to visit our project sites within our resort reef systems and our local schools that we service.
Our local villages and communities play an important role in the success of the Society’s works. Discussions and sharing of ideas working towards greater environmental consciousness is a fundamental part of the Society’s work. MES through the support of the community also engages itself in community awareness programs
Resort Staff Refresher Training
A one day training program is organise for member resort staffs on environment issues that concerns them most at workplace the best environmental practices regarding sustainable tourism. The program is held once a year targeting staffs from every department with the major objective of highlighting the relationship between the environment, livelihood and tourism. Proper waste management, conservation of biodiversity, Fiji’s marine and terrestrial native and endangered species and discussion on environment and fisheries law are topics covered during the training. Also highlights Climate change adaptation and mitigation and disaster risk management selected topics are also covered.
Marine Environment School Program
The school program was first introduced in 2001 which targets mainly Classes 6, 7 and 8 students of designated mainland and island primary schools. The main objective of this program is to impart knowledge on the importance of natural resources and how we should look after them for sustainable livelihood for the present and future generations The program is conducted once every week in Terms 1 and 2 and MES staff uses a supplementary Marine Environment textbook as reference guideline to cover marine topics to these classes.
There are ten lessons covered with activities and practical integrated to help the children understand each topic. The topics are:
- Introduction and Objectives of MES
- What is the Coastal Zone?
- Coastal Zone Interaction and Threat
- The formation and Biology of Coral reefs
- Indicator Species on the reef
- Animal Interaction and Food Webs
- Human Impacts on Coral Reefs
- Natural Threats on Coral Reefs
- Reef Check and Marine Protected Areas
- Important Animals in the Mamanucas
MES have widened its school services from local community school to private school. Today we look after four mainland schools and three island schools. They are Malolo District School, Mana SDA School, Namamanuca District School located in the Mamanuca Islands. Momi District School, Nabila Public School, TA Learning Centre and Vuda District School are our mainland schools that we service in Term One. The schools are also actively involved in environment celebrations such as World Water Day and World Environment Day. The Society also facilitates in other environment programs organise by the school when international or local school groups visit them. Past themes of this programme include climate change, waste education, biodiversity, storm water management, catchment protection, recycling, reusing, water education and global warming. It also promotes environmental literacy and the development of the skills needed for life-long learning. MES plans to expand this undertaking in developing reference text with inclusion of Sustainable land use and Climate Change.
Resort Environment Days
MES work closely with member resorts in formulating Environment programs. The main objective of the program to not only for guests to visit the resort for vacation but voluntary take part in activities such as coral restoration, coastal planting, beach and underwater clean up, medicine tour and snorkelling to name a few. Also this is a platform where guest from all over the world to fully understand the existing environment projects that each member resort have. While some interested member resorts dedicate a day in a week in advocating on the importance of conserving nature others have monthly environment days. Family resorts like Castaway Island Resort, Malolo Island Resort and Mana Island Resort and Spa also have special programs for their Kids Club. Highlights of the Kids Club program are turtle watching, fish feeding, Fijian medicinal walk, fish house building, recycling Material, snorkelling classes and coral and tree planting to name a few.
Coral reef is a fragile ecosystem and human activities is said to be one of the factor that threatens coral growth. Water sports within the resort marine areas closely monitored by Marine staffs ensuring that they are safe and at the same time do not pose any physical threat to the fragile system. Providing information on best snorkelling practises allow less damage by walking on coral structure and increases survival rate of coral polyps. As part of the coral restoration program, interested member resorts are involved in the replanting of corals to their house reef. It is a long process of collecting live fragments of corals that are lying around on the reef. With cement grout, the foundation of the coral fragments are made in a doughnut- like form and tied to a table before they are dropped on reef edges. Planted corals are monitored and kept on the table for up to six months or more before they are transplanted onto selected areas of the reef. Malolo Island Resort, Castaway Island Resort, Mana Island Resort & Spa and South Sea Island are involved in coral planting.
Restoring giant clams (locally know as vasua) population on the reef is another initiative by our member resort. With collaboration work with Department of Fisheries, baby clams are supplied by the Makogai Breeding station to our member resorts who house them in their resort reefs. Clams as listed by IUCN as a marine species that is vulnerable and not critically endangered. Frequent harvesting of this species is now affecting its population as their numbers continue to decrease. Interested member resorts such as Tokoriki Island Resort, Mana Island Resort, Likuliku Lagoon Resort and Castaway Island Resort are actively engaged in the Clam Restoration Program. Tokoriki Island Resort has been the oldest member to engage in this project in which they have raised some clams that are now 14 years old. Once the clams have grown to an adult size, they are distributed into the resort house reef to reproduce in help increase the clam population.