The 5th to 9th June 2017 was Vanuatu’s National Environment Week organised by the Department of Environment Protection and Conservation (DEPC). VESS was part of the organising team contributing and helping out during what we can say was a successful Environment Week celebration.
Official Launching of the programme took place at the DEPC area on Monday the 5th June, which marks the World Environment Day every year. VESS was grateful to have been allocated time in the speeches. Douglas Koran gave the speech noting some of the works VESS has been doing, especially on the Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project and emphasised the benefits from networking and joining capacity with Government and NGO’s under the umbrella of Environment. Diplomats, dignitaries guests from different government Departments, and representatives from NGO’s, and foundations were invited to the launching along with two schools; Child care and Vila SDA School and the public.
DEPC Launch the Vanuatu national Waste Management, Pollution Control Strategy and Implementation Plan 2016-2020 and there was also a Tree planting ceremony at the DEPC compound to mark this special day. Van2017 was also there with Nasi to join in and celebrate the World Environment Day.
Different environmental organisation set up displays showcasing different projects they are working on such as Live and learn, Bastien Foundation and Recycle Corp. VESS set up display on dugongs and seagrass and organised a little quiz and other activities about dugongs and seagrass for the students. All the students received a give-away price of little dugong and seagrass booklets only if they finish the quiz and got all of the answers correct. Nearly every student that attended the launching left with their price. Forty four students altogether participated on the quiz activities. They were very interested running around with their quizzes searching for answers on displays posters. I know one thing they learn for sure on that environment day is facts and information about dugong and seagrass beds.
Seafront Litter clean up and survey
By Leilani Nalo, VESS Environmental Scientist
Thursday the 8th of June 2017 was World Oceans Day that was also celebrated during the National Environment Week, which was from Monday the 5th-Friday 9th of June. To celebrate this day, VESS organized a coastal litter survey in partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection and Conservation (DEPC) that focused on the coastal areas along the seafront area starting from SeaView Restaurant beside the market house right through town to Chantilly’s at the Fatumaru Bay. The survey was from 1pm to 4pm and involved collecting data on the type and number of rubbish found.
There was a total of 55 participants that included VESS staff and volunteers, 25 Malapoa College students and over 30 staffs from Government Departments and NGO’s and other organisations such as New Zealand High Commission, Australian High Commission, JICA, Live and Learn, Okeanos and Port Vila Municipality.
The survey was both fun and educational as it involved tallying up rubbish according to categories such as glass, plastic and metal. Everyone was excited about finding more rubbish and getting their bags full. More importantly, it made them see how the small pieces of candy wrappers and metal cans can add up to a full garbage bag. We would like to thank everyone who came along and lended a helping hand and a special thank you to RecycleCorp and Municipal Staff who took care of the rubbish right after the cleanup. Despite the weather being a bit cloudy with few showers, the day was a success with the reward of having some light refreshments by the clean coast with the beautiful Ocean View. Let us keep it that way!
Click here to see the results of the litter survey
By Douglas Koran, VESS Marine Scientist
The Vanuatu National Environment Week ended up on the Friday 9th June 2017 with a whole-day Seminar at the Vanuatu Convention Centre under the theme; “Connecting People to Nature”. 200-seat room was used for the seminar and it was fully packed. Some had to stand just to be part and listen to beautiful presentations from a wide range of different environmental touch from different environment organisations, Government departments, NGO’s, Foundations and other sectors to community-based organisations.
VESS also took part to present its work. The presentation was about some of the past work VESS has been doing, such as events, and more on the current projects; the Dugong and Seagrass Project and a the 25 threaten species CEPF project. It was great presenting our work to other colleagues with the same interest and view towards the environment.
I would like to thank the DEPC for making it possible and organising this seminar for environmental organisation to present their work educate other people about their project, what they have been doing etc… it’s a time where we all get to know about what other organisation or government department have been doing contributing to the environment one way or the other. It creates a chance for network building with other organisation, we get to know who is doing what and the chance to meet up. We get to hear very good presentation on very good works of different organisations. Thank you to everyone that participated, and for the contribution and all the good works Vanuatu has been doing for our environment for today and the future.