The Mamanuca Environment Society is celebrating its tenth anniversary this month.
It was in November 2002 when the Mamanuca Fiji Hotel Association (MFHA) at its November meeting voted to establish a committee to recommend the best way forward to protect and care for the Mamanuca environment.
This lead to a meeting in December where MFHA accepted the recommendation to form a separate entity (subsequently named the Mamanuca Environment Society) and steps were taken to develop a constitution and register appropriate legal status.
On December 31 st, 2002, The then ‘Environment Committee’ met with the late Tui Vuda and President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, and received the Tui Vuda’s enthusiastic support for the work to improve the environment in the Mamanuca islands.
In his subsequent letter to the committee, the late Tui Vuda stated ‘…His excellency the President wishes to reconfirm his support for the Project and congratulate the organizers on a very important, fruitful and constructive proposal…’
In the corporate world, age symbolizes strength and security. For the past 10 years, MES’s mission has never changed.
And that 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.
Chairman of the Mamanuca Environment Society, Geoffrey Shaw, said celebrating a decade of service to the community and the environment is indeed a milestone event.
Reflecting on the achievements of MES since its inception ten years ago, Mr Shaw said “through education and creating awareness of our fragile marine and terrestrial environment, MES has contributed to a greater understanding by community and commercial stakeholders of the need to protect precious resources for future generations.
“The ability to undertake the many on-going and successfully completed projects over the years has and continues to rely entirely, on the generosity of our members and sponsors. Without their continued support MES would cease to exist,” Mr Shaw said.
He also paid special tribute to the work of the MES team lead by Project Manager, Betani Salusalu who continues to lead an outstanding small team of professionals.
“Like our members and sponsors, they are committed to the implementation of ‘best practice’ in the management of our environment. We work closely with all stakeholders in advancing the goals of the Society’ he added.
Mr Betani Salusalu said the society strives to assist in the protection of the Mamanuca islands natural environment and to enhance the livelihood of communities living and working in the region by:
• Helping conserve the marine and terrestrial biodiversity of the region.
• Ensuring the sustainable use of resources to enhance livelihood.
• Promoting the need for integrated management by all who visit, live and work in the Mamanuca region for a sustainable tourism and community livelihood.
“Partnerships with the local communities, chiefs and Tikina councils and collaboration with other agencies such as government, international and national NGO’s and tourism operators within the Mamanuca islands and within Fiji generally, are of utmost importance for this organisation to be a success.
“Education and raising awareness of how to better manage the environment for relevant stakeholders in the Mamanuca regionarea will provide other areas in Fiji with an example from which to learn,” he said.
Mr Salusalu said the Society is indeed fortunate to have the support through sponsorship of the following commercial enterprises.
ANZ Bank- is one of the largest companies in Australia and New Zealand and a major international banking and financial services group, which is among the top 50 banks in the world. As a leading financial institution in Fiji, ANZ Bank is committed to engaging with communities with the aim to make a difference and help sustain their livelihood. They were the first to sponsor MES back in 2003.
Air Pacific – Voted three years in a row as the South Pacific’s best airline by Global Traveler magazine, Air Pacific is Fiji’s national carrier. It is 51% owned by Fiji and 46% by Qantas Airways. Air Pacific and its subsidiary domestic/regional airline Pacific Sun, fly more than 500 flights per week carrying 1.1 million passengers internationally to Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, as well as to 10 island destinations domestically. Together, they bring in over 60% of all visitors to Fiji.
AON Risk Services – is the multifaceted brokering and risk management services arm of AON Corporation specialising in providing products, services, and solutions to meet the diverse and varied needs of its clients. Risks to businesses are constantly expanding and changing, AON Risk Services can provide the solutions needed to help service the consequence of risk in today’s environment.
KPMG – is a leading provider of professional services including audit, tax and advisory. Their innovative spirit inspires what they do and how they do it, providing valuable benefits for clients, employees and stakeholders. Constantly striving to be better lies at the heart of what makes them different.
Island Brewing Company – is a newly established boutique microbrewery producing a handcrafted beer (free of additives and preservatives) brewed naturally using pure Fiji island rainwater. The uniquely designed bottles feature Fiji’s endangered Green Turtle to help raise funds and awareness to support breeding programmes in the Mamanuca islands.
Members included Castaway Island, Fiji Resort, Malolo Island Resort, Mana Island Resort, Likuliku Island Resort, Tokoriki Island Resort, Matamanoa Island Resort, Navini Island Resort, Namotu Island Resort, Tavarua Island Resort, Sonaisali Island Resort, South Sea Cruise, Subsurface Fiji and Sea Fiji.