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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Some more coverage of our efforts to combat marine litter ... See MoreSee Less

Survey data helps implement a ban on plastics. In the first of our #LocalImpact series, we chat with Christina Shaw from Big Blue dive center in Vanuatu. She shares how #DiveAgainstDebris data has hel...

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This is the new inflight video that every visiter to Palau has to watch and then make a pledge not to damage the environment. It is a measure brought in by the Palau government in response to the environment degradation which came with mass tourism, particularly form the Chinese market. I hope we can learn from the experience in Palau and protect Vanuatu's fragile environment BEFORE the damage occurs.
This is what they say about the video:
"Every inbound visitor to Palau is now required to watch an inflight short film. It tells the story of a clumsy, careless giant - representative of mass tourism at its worst - who comes to Palau, wreaking environmental damage. The local children befriend him, teaching him to be eco-aware.

The film introduces passengers to the Palau Pledge, an innovative and bold new entry visa process designed to save Palau’s environment. Every visitor to this stunning yet fragile island-country will be required to sign a passport eco-pledge before they can enter: a promise to protect Palau for future generations. Learn more about this immigration policy precedent at"
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