A ONE year project on sustainable tourism in the Mamanuca Islands has received a funding boost from the US Embassy under its Pacific Regional Environment, Science, Technology and Health Small Grant program.
The project called “Enhancing Sustainable Tourism through Environment Protection in the Mamanuca Islands” will focus on maintaining biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.
Implemented by the Mamanuca Environment Society, the project aims to prevent the destruction of habitats and the decline of marine and terrestrial species which threatens the livelihoods of island communities.
MES project manager Marica Vakacola said the project was also a result of the increasing wave of tourists that frequent the island group.
“With an increase in number of visitors to the region as well as a population number in the communities of the Mamanuca region, we need to work in unity and advocate the need to protect our natural resources and promote our rich and unique biodiversity,” she said.
According to MES, the project also aimed to continue its partnership with schools, communities and resorts in upskilling local knowledge and allowing stakeholders the opportunity to learn about the importance of sustainable tourism through environment protection and letting them take ownership of the actions they can take to maintain these natural resources.
“Through this project we work towards achieving SDG Goals 13, 14 and 15,” said Mrs Vakacola.
“At the same time, this educational program also focuses on building the resiliency of the villages to reduce exposure and sensitivity to climate change.
“The Mamanuca Environment Society is committed to the promotion of awareness of the need to protect the marine and terrestrial resources of the Mamanuca Region and to assist in the environmentally sustainable development of these resources for the benefit of present and future generations.”
(Source: The Fiji Times ONLINE Business 19 October 2017)