World Wildlife Day 2017

Today, 3rd March is World Wildlife Day. The UN theme for this year is “Listen to the young people”. The VESS team is heading out to Eratap to meet up with Nasi the Vanuatu2017 Minigames mascot to visit some schools and find out what the kids think about wild animals and plants. Nasi is a rainbow lorikeet, one of Vanuatu’s most iconic wild birds. He will be chatting to Donna, the VESS dugong mascot about life as a wild animal in Vanuatu. I am sure the Namalao will have some insights too. Both the Namalao and the dugong are threatened species and their future depends on whether people can help them. Namaloa are endemic which means they only live in Vanuatu so they depend on Ni-Vanuatu people look out for them. So today on World Wildlife day we would like to encourage everyone to think about the wildlife in Vanuatu and do one thing to help today.

Click on the following link to see the message from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

World wildlife day message 2017

Featured photo: Red-bellied fruit dove by Wojciech Dabrowka

The Great Backyard Bird Count

Have you got a spare 15 minutes this weekend? 

 The Great Backyard Bird Count is on February 17-20, 2017

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds. Now, more than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life worldwide join the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds. For the first time Vanuatu is going to join in and so can you! Either do your own count or join us on ours.

All you need to do is for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, February 17-20, 2017, simply tally the numbers and kinds of birds you see. You can count from any location, anywhere in the world, for as long as you wish!

You can conduct your own GBBC tally in your own garden, close to where you live at your school or place of work. Or if you want to join VESS we are meeting at Independence Park at 12 noon on Friday 17th (tomorrow) to count the birds we see there. So if you have 15 minutes spare in your lunch hour come and join the count. We will have our bird identification books there to help id the birds and Leilani, one of the VESS scientists will upload all the data from our count onto the GBBC database. 

If you want to do your own count all the information you need is on the GBBC website

Photo credit: Wojciech Dabrowka.

The Vanuatu Government has released the new sustainable development plan

 


Here is what it says about the environmental pillar:

A pristine natural environment on land and at sea serving our food, cultural, economic and ecological needs

As custodians of a unique chain of islands and expansive ocean we have an inherent responsibility to protect and preserve our natural resources. The Constitution explicitly obligates everyone to protect and safeguard national resources and the environment for the present and future generations. This is not only the right thing to do, it is fundamental to our wellbeing and prosperity. We need to realise the true cultural, economic and social value of our natural capital, biodiversity and ecosystems. Together with our ancestors we have lived in harmony with our natural surroundings for many millennia. Today we face increasing development pressures exacerbated by globalisation and the decline of traditional resource governance. These pressures threaten the very environment that secures the basics of life – food, water and energy systems. Our rich natural beauty also presents a key to our shared prosperity, including through a wealth of natural tourism assets.

Integrating sound environmental and waste management into our social and economic progress is crucial to meeting our national vision. With environmental degradation a common global challenge, Vanuatu has the potential to be a world leader in Blue-green growth and sustainable development. In return we will seek to capitalise on the rapid advances in technology and innovation that can complement traditional knowledge to better utilise our natural assets on land and at sea to ensure our food security, maintain our cultural identity, and enhance our economic prospects. We can and must do this without destroying our ecosystems and biodiversity.

Down load your copy herehttp://ogcio.gov.vu/images/nsdp/Vanuatu2030-EN.pdf

 

flooding in vanuatu due to climate change

Climate change course in Vanuatu

Full-scholarships are available for a new course on Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction Certificate I to be offered at VIT in Port Vila this year (full-time 6 months Feb-July 2017).

With support from GIZ and the SPC EU-PacTVET program, multiple participants will be sponsored who have the interest and motivation to become trainers of this course in the future.

There are 25 full scholarships available which cover all fees, travel, room and board and course materials for 6 months!!!

As the first such formally accredited course on CC/DRR to be offered in the entire Pacific Region, this is an opportunity not to be missed!  More details are available here:  http://www.nab.vu/announcement/fullscholarshipccdrrcourse.

If you are interested interested please fill in the application (click here for the form) and send with your CV and a cover letter) to climate change in Vanuatu VanuatuClimateChange@gmail.com before 20 January 2017!

 

 

 

Talk on trees of tafea

Job Available: Do you want to help conserve threatened species?

Are you outgoing and great at engaging people? Are you passionate about the environment and protecting threatened animals and plants? Are you organised and do you have good computer skills? Then you might be the person we are looking for!

VESS has a position for a project officer to conduct awareness about species in Vanuatu threatened with extinction. The position will also involve administrative tasks at the VESS office in Port Vila. The job will be based in Port Vila with some travel to the islands to conduct awareness campaigns.

Criteria:

  • 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.

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

Language: English, Bislama, French is an advantage.

Closing Date for applications: 5 pm Friday 2nd December

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

In your letter please include one paragraph about a threatened species found in Vanuatu that you are passionate about. Please mention why you believe its conservation is important and what measures can be taken to conserve it.

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.

Photo from ARKive of the White-necked petrel (Pterodroma cervicalis) - http://www.arkive.org/white-necked-petrel/pterodroma-cervicalis/image-G87832.html

Photo from ARKive of the White-necked petrel (Pterodroma cervicalis) – http://www.arkive.org/white-necked-petrel/pterodroma-cervicalis/image-G87832.html

 

Scholarships available for Masters in Conservation Leadership at Cambridge University

There are scholarships available particular for those from developing countries. Must have 3 to 5 years experience in biodiversity conservation and show leadership potential.

Here is the information from Cambridge:

Cambridge Masters in Conservation Leadership

Applications and scholarship support for October 2017

The MPhil degree in Conservation Leadership at the University of Cambridge is a full-time, eleven month course aimed at graduates of leadership potential with at least three to five years of relevant experience in biodiversity conservation. Based in the University’s Department of Geography, a unique feature of this course is its delivery by members of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI), a partnership between six university departments and nine conservation organisations or networks based in and around Cambridge. In 2016 a Conservation Campus for the CCI organisations was opened in the refurbished David Attenborough Building in central Cambridge. The Masters in Conservation Leadership has a dedicated teaching room within the building, offering our students constant access to world-leading conservation organisations, practitioners and researchers.

The Masters in Conservation Leadership focuses on issues of management and leadership. It aims to develop conservationists with enhanced awareness of the complex drivers of biodiversity loss, and the ability to act and lead effectively. Consequently, the course aims to deliver a world-class and interdisciplinary education in Conservation Leadership that is not available elsewhere.

  • We now welcome applications for entry to the course in October 2017. For further details on how to apply, please visit the course website:

http://www.geog.cam.ac.uk/graduate/mphil/conservation/

  • The closing date for applications is 7 December 2016.

We are pleased to be able to continue offering Miriam Rothschild Scholarships in Conservation Leadership to support students attending the MPhil in Conservation Leadership. Successful applicants for scholarships will have outstanding conservation leadership potential, but be unable to fund their studies from other sources. Particular priority for scholarships will be given to those from countries rich in biodiversity but poor in financial resources. Various other awards are available through sources such as the Cambridge Trusts.

If you have any queries about making an application, please contact the Programme Administrator, Lisa Harris: admin.conservationleadership@geog.cam.ac.uk

VESS is contributing to the exhibition at Foundation Bastien

The exhibition “Sik Plastik Blong Solwota” opens tonight. VESS was asked to contribute some information about the problem of plastics in our seas in Vanuatu. We have produced a few posters with the information so if you are going to the exhibition tonight or in the next few weeks then look out for the VESS posters.

VESS contributes to Exhibition on marine pollution