Finally the two year turtle conservation project for the Mamanuca group of Islands kick-started on October 15th, with Malolo Island Resort hosting the first stakeholder consultation meeting.
The meeting invited participants from member resorts, the 5 village communities of Yanuya, Tavua, Yaro, Solevu and Viseisei, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Fisheries, Institute of Marine Resources (USP), and members of the Ba and Nadroga Provincial Council.
Matters discussed at the meeting included a formal introduction to the 2 year project, its main objectives with the schedule of activities. Power point presentations were also prepared by the 2 Government institutions present.
Objectives of the Turtle Conservation project include the following:
- Improve Turtle Conservation through promoting community and resort education and awareness;
- Establish protocols/policy to monitor breeding and foraging grounds of Marine Turtles;
- Integrate biological research component at community and resort level;
- Formulate a conservation communication strategy for the two sectors: communities and resorts;
- Formulate and establish a standardized turtle conservation guideline on best practices for resorts.
Upcoming events include 2 more consultation meetings with the 4 village communities at Solevu and Yaro (24th October) and Tavua and Yanuya (30th October). During these meetings, a final date will be agreed upon for the launching of the project.