Dugong and Seagrass Exhibition

VESS is recruiting again

Are you passionate about the environment and protecting threatened species? Are you interested in the endemic bats of Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands? Are you keen to learn new techniques and skills?  Then you might be the person we are looking for!

VESS has a position a Threatened Species Officer (Bat Project) to work on implementing the “Conservation of the Endemic Flying Foxes of Torba and Temotu in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands” project funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). The project’s aims are to conduct scientific research on the biology and ecology of three species of flying foxes in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands that are threatened with extinction. A species action and survival plan for each of the three species of flying fox will also be devised under this project. Amongst other activities the job will involve working with research scientists from the University of Queensland and a 3 to 4 week long field expedition to northern Vanuatu and southern Solomon Islands and additional travel in Vanuatu. The project aim is to build capacity for biodiversity assessments including for bat species and VESS will provide training to the threatened species project officer.

This role will also involve some administrative work for VESS as well as assisting with an outreach program to involve people in conservation themed events and talks.


  • Minimum qualification of a year 13 high school certificate SPFSC however candidates with a Bachelor Degree in a natural science subject will have an advantage
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • A passion and enthusiasm for the environment and conservation
  • Previous experience in project implementation desirable
  • Computer literacy including email and Microsoft suite
  • Must be able to commit to FULL time employment
  • This position is open to Ni-Vanuatu Citizens

Salary: 300-400 VT per hour commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Language: English, Bislama, French is an advantage.

Closing Date for applications: 5 pm Wednesday 12th July 2017 

How To Apply: Please address your cover letter (max 1 page) to Dr. Christina Shaw.

In your letter please include one paragraph why you think bats are important to people and the environment in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. Please mention why you believe their conservation is important and what measures can be taken to conserve them.

Send you letter together with your CV (max 2 pages) by email to  vess@vanuatuconservation.org.

There is no need to send academic record or references at this stage.

Results from World Ocean’s Day Litter survey

Ocean Film Festival World Tour comes to Vanuatu

VESS stakeholder meeting 2017

Invitation to attend VESS Stakeholder Meeting

9am -12 noon Tuesday 28th March

Chantilly’s Hotel conference room

We are holding a stakeholder meeting and would like to invite government departments, NGOs, organisations and individuals who have an interest in the environment and conservation to participate. We are currently implementing a GEF-funded Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project and a project to raise awareness of threatened species in Vanuatu. The purpose of the meeting is to introduce VESS to those you do not know us, to report on our current projects and to investigate possibilities of future projects and collaboration for the benefit of conservation in Vanuatu. We would also like to consult with our stakeholders to see what priorities are important to people in Vanuatu.


09:00                           Start of meeting

09:15                           Introduction to VESS and annual report – Dr. Christina Shaw

10.00                           report on current projects – Douglas Koran and Leilani Nalo.

10:30                           Break for coffee and muffins

11:00                           Up-coming projects to start this year – Dr. Christina Shaw

11:30                           Discussion on future projects and priorities for VESS

12:00                           Meeting ends

Presentations will be made by our CEO Christina Shaw, as well as the two Ni-Vanuatu scientists who are employed on our projects. We very much hope that you are able to attend but understand that everyone has busy schedules. Please feel free to pass on this invitation to anyone who you think may be interested in coming to the meeting. For catering purposes we would appreciate an RSVP to vess@vanuatuconservation.org by the morning of Monday 27th March.

We hope to see you on Tuesday

VESS has an opening for an Australian volunteer

There is an opportunity to volunteer for VESS. If you are Australian and have experience in ecotourism or threatened species management then you may be interested in this assignment. Applications close on 21st March. Here is a description of the position:

Take a walk on the wild side and help conserve Vanuatu’s threatened species and ecosystems whilst improving the livelihoods of the local community!

Vanuatu lies in the East Melanesian Islands hotspot for Biodiversity and has a high number of endemic species and iconic species such as dugongs and sea turtles. There are untapped opportunities to develop ecotourism products based on this natural wealth. However there is a fine balance between tourism helping threatened species and causing them or communities harm. Your expertise will shift the balance in favour of conservation whilst improving local livelihoods.

VESS is a young organisation and our aim is to use science as a tool for conservation in Vanuatu and to encourage Ni-Vanuatu scientists. VESS is currently implementing the Dugong and Seagrass Conservation project, a global GEF-funded project involving eight developing countries. We are also working on a CEPF-funded project to increase awareness of threatened species in Vanuatu. Ecotourism potential involving these animals and plants will be explored under these projects and incorporated into workshops derived to communities.

You will identify potential ecotourism products involving wildlife that could improve livelihoods of people. You will help develop guidelines and codes of conduct for tourism operators to improve the livelihoods of these animals and plants, and the people who share their habitats. You will also investigate opportunities for “voluntourism” as a sustainable mechanism for funding conservation programs to protect Vanuatu’s threatened species.

In your role you will help the VESS Ni-Vanuatu scientists, officers in the Department of Tourism and community members better understand the benefits and pitfalls of ecotourism involving wildlife. – See more at:

Find the details of the assignment here: Wildlife_Ecotourism_Advisor

If you are interested find out how to apply via this link.

Donna the dugong meets Nasi on World Wildlife day

Today 3rd March 2017 is World Wildlife Day and VESS partnered with VAN 2017 to celebrate this day with students from classes 5 and 6 at Erakor French school. Nasi and “Apu” met up with Donna the Dugong and the namaloa to raise awareness on the Threatened Species in Vanuatu and the importance of keeping the Environment clean and safe for all of us. It was an interactive session where students listened with keen interest and answered some basic questions about endemic species and habitat loss. To end with, students sang along with Nasi and his friends about proper rubbish disposal. Afterwards, Nasi and his friends all went down to the beach for a photo shot among the mangroves.

By Leilani Nalo and Douglas Koran.

Here is the press release from the Vanuatu 2017 Nasi & friends observe World Wildlife Day in the wild