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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The VESS team were out this morning doing our clean up for International Coastal Cleanup 2017 in a drain on a side street in nambatu that leads down to Paray Bay. We collected 6 bags of rubbish including: 273 plastic bags, 60 plastic bottles, 74 drinks cans, 368 food wrappers, 26 polystyrene take away containers, 27 plastic straws and 35 drink boxes. All from about 200 meters of drain. Well done to Douglas, Martika, Priscilla, Alex and Christina. Imagine if there are 273 plastic bags in just one short drain, how many are there in the rest of the storm drains in Port Vila? They will all end up in the sea unless we take action to stop the littering of plastics in Vila. Now it is your turn. Download the data sheets, do a clean up and send us back the data so we can use it to show that it is not just a problem but a very big problem in Port Vila and it needs urgent action! Find the forms on our website: ... See MoreSee Less

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Remember the fish flip flop installation at last year's sik plastik blong solwot exhibition? Well, the artists need material (Plastic rubbish found polluting our seas) again for this year's creations. So we have had a request from Fondation Suzanne Bastien. Please save any plastic that you pick up on our International coastal clean up events that is not too yucky and take it to the Foundation Bastien this week or next week for the artists to recycle into art. They're looking for plastic bottles plastic, knives, forks and spoons, plastic bags and any interesting plastic items. Don't forget that you can recycle any metal, including drinks cans you find too, at Recycle Corp or drop it off at DEPC. To find out how to join the International coastal clean up effort with your own clean up please see our website: ... See MoreSee Less

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Big Blue is joining the effort on International Coastal Cleanup Day. You can too, find out how on our website: ... See MoreSee Less

On Saturday it is International Coastal Clean up and we are organising another #diveagainstdebris at Big Blue. The Big Blue staff and volunteer divers pick up litter that is polluting our seas and hur...

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