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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Here is a few stats of the litter picked up and counted during the Pikimap Koantem Kipim Klin (PKK) campaign:

395 people took part from 14 different communities and groups from Port Vila and surrounding area. Collectively nearly 100 hours of cleaning up happened during the weekend. 816 bags of rubbish were collected and taken to the landfill. It took Pango Green Force 16 trips to the tip the dispose of them all and RecycleCorp collected another 5 truck loads of metal for recycling. 43,437 pieces of rubbish were picked up, counted and recorded on data sheets.

Here are the Top Ten items and how many were picked up of each:
Food wrappers 5104
Plastic bottles 5093
Tins cans 5032
Nappies 2964
Aluminum drink cans 2394
All plastic bags 1978
Glass bottles 1252
Plastic plates, cups & cutlery 1093
Plastic caps and lids 952
Juice & milk boxes 916

Of all the plastic bottles 62% were water bottles, 26% other drink bottles, 12% other types of bottle - oil or shampoo etc
Of all the plastic bags 27% were the thin single use shopping bags, 42% re-usable shopping bags, 31% other plastic bags.
#tataplastik Cefas - Commonwealth Litter Programme TierraMar
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1 week ago

Vanuatu Environmental Science Society

Cleanup campaign 12 months after the plastic bag ban - some of the communities who cleaned up their areas over this weekend. ... See MoreSee Less

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And the winners are........the George Pompidou community. This community's name was randomly chosen from all the correctly filled in data sheets that we received back from the PKK cleanup in the last weekend of June.
The second prize was picked out from all the communities who sent a photo of the area they cleaned one week after the cleanup showing that the area was still clean. The second prize winners are Group 2 from Freshwota 1 - check out the during cleanup photo and the one week later photo below.
Congratulations to our winners! Thanks to Vila Distribution Hardware for donating the wheelbarrow as part of the prize pack. #tataplastik Cefas - Commonwealth Litter Programme TierraMar
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