Vanuatu is an archipelago of 83 islands in the South Pacific enriched with amazing flora and fauna. It is a country where the majority of the people live in rural areas and are dependant on their surrounding environment and natural resources to thrive. Consequently there is a strong bond between Ni-Vanautu and their land. But there is little scientific study of the plants animals and their interactions with each other. At VESS we believe that  both indigenous knowledge, passed down from gerneations of people living on the land, and scientific knowledge together will assist this and future generations to live harmoniously within our changing environment. VESS aims to fill the knowledge gaps that exist in relation to our environment and the flora and fauna resident here so we understand our natural world and can develop the tools to ensure sustainable use of our natural resources as well as preserving Vanuatu’s unique biodiversity into the future.

Vanuatu sits within the East Melanesian Island’s Hotspot for biodiversity. Our islands are young, in geological terms, and remote and this has lead to a high level of endemism which means that there are many animals and plants that live in Vanuatu and no where else in the world. Vanuatu is surrounded by coral reefs which are home to an array of beautiful marine organisms. Our costal waters are also visited by migratory species such as whales and marine turtles. Some of these species are threatened with extinction and listed on the IUCN Red List of threatened species. VESS will work towards improving the prospects for these threatened plants and animals and increase their chance of survival. You can find out more about the richness of East Melanesian Islands Hotspot from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund’s (CEFP) website and the EMI ecosystem profile. The CEPF is currently funding projects in Vanuatu including supporting VESS. This website was built as part of a project funded by CEFP. 

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A great effort from everyone that joined the World Ocean Day Vanuatu Cleanup event. VESS, 350 Vanuatu, VCAN Australia Pacific Climate Partnership
and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs all all came together to organise the event in Port Vila. A big thank you to TVL the major sponsor. The group met at Fatumaru bay and cleaned up along the coast from Malapoa point all along the seafront to the central market. The Wan Smol Bag VanuaTai monitors and the Tasivanua networks also cleaned up the coastline at their AGM location in Tanoliu. In total 15,044 items of litter were picked up by 184 people, including 1552 food wrappers, 1859 aluminium cans, 1025 water bottles 201 shoes or flip flops, and 800 glass bottles. These great photos were taken by Island Reach. #worldoceansday #tataplastik
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Happy World Oceans Day! Don't forget to come down to Fatumaru bay for the World Oceans Day Vanuatu Cleanup. If you have any questions for the Minister of Foreign Affairs on how Vanuatu is protecting its oceans or tackling climate change you will have the chance to ask him during the question and answer session after the cleanup.
This years theme for World Oceans Day is:
Together we can... protect and restore our ocean
Conservation focus: demonstrate leadership in preventing plastic pollution and share solutions that inspire and activate the global community. Let's continue to show the world Vanuatu is a leader in tackling plastic pollution and collect the litter data that demonstrates the effect of the plastic ban. #worldoceansday #tataplastik
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Today is World Environment Day! A day to think about what we can do to help our amazing natural world. The VESS team was with the Wan Smol Bag Vanua Tai resource monitors AGM today talking dugongs and turtle with them. A very dedicated group keen to learn how they can protect Vanuatu's animals and plants. Here are a few photos of the amazing animals that live here in Vanuatu. Thank you to Phil Bender, Kirk Zufelt, and Big Blue Vanuatu for the photos. ... See MoreSee Less

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