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 generations 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.
Want to learn about nudibranchs and contribute to a citizen science program? Are you a diver with a camera? Then this is for you.The Sea Slug Census is coming to Vanuatu! Save the date for a weekend of seeking out the colourful critters and contributing to the scientific knowledge of Vanautu's marine life. 27th and 28th March for the dives and Thursday the 25th for a presentation from Steve Smith and colleagues from Southern Cross University zooming in from Australia. Brought to you by VESS and Big Blue Watch this space for more details...We will be open for weekend divers again from 6th March for those that want to practice your nudibranch searching skills. ... See MoreSee Less
VESS is happy to be a founding supporter of the ANZPAC Plastics Pact, a collaborative solution that brings together businesses, governments and NGOs in the region behind a shared vision of a circular economy for plastic, where plastic never becomes waste or pollution. VESS is looking forwards to forming new connections and working with businesses here and in Australia and New Zealand to tackle the issue of plastic pollution. We hope Vanuatu will be part of the innovation that helps to eliminate problematic and unnecessary plastics as well as setting up the infrastructure that is needed to recycle the plastics we cannot eliminate. VESS is the champion for the ANZPAC Plastic Pact and if you want more information please PM us with and email address for you and we can send you more information. ... See MoreSee Less