[Coral-List] fw: Rechargeable Battery and Reef Rehab Project by Peace Corps Volunteer in Vanuatu- World Challenge finalist

Lisa Kristine Johnson johnsolk at gmail.com
Fri Sep 2 01:56:43 EDT 2005

Dear All,
 Below is a press release forward on a Reef Rehab Project in Vanuatu. Cool 
community solution for a prevalent disposal battery problem!
 Please consider voting at the link: http://www.theworldchallenge.co.uk/ The 
winner of this challenge receives a grant from Shell to benefit the project! 

 *Peace Corps Press Office*


*August 31, 2005* 


  Peace Corps Volunteer's Project Chosen as Finalist for World Challenge 

 *WASHINGTON, D.C., August 31, 2005* - In a country with plentiful sunshine 
but limited electricity, one volunteer's project to harness solar energy has 
brought international recognition.

 An endeavor that Peace Corps volunteer Chris Bartlett spearheaded and has 
supported since its inception, The Rechargeable Battery and Reef Rehab 
Project in Vanuatu, has been named one of 12 finalists in the World 
Challenge Competition, sponsored by BBC World and Newsweek, in association 
with Shell. The winner will be decided by voting and will be announced in 
London on November 17.

 The Rechargeable Battery and Reef Rehab Project is located in the 
Nguna-Pele Marine Protected Area in Vanuatu, where electricity is 
unavailable and villagers depend on batteries to run basic devices such as 
clocks and torches. With Bartlett's help, and the support of other 
volunteers, solar operated battery-chargers and Ni-MH rechargeable batteries 
are supplied to villages for everyday appliances through a rental process. When 
the batteries go dead, they can be recharged at the solar facility for a 
smaller fee than the cost of new disposable batteries. Before the 
introduction of this project, villagers were using nearly 12,000 disposable 
batteries per year. When discarded, many ended up on the coral reefs where 
the toxins from the batteries killed the reefs and destroyed the fish 
habitat. This project is the first of its kind in Vanuatu. Not only is the 
environment being protected, the project has also generated income for 
additional protection of the reef. 

 The World Challenge Competition aims to find individuals or groups from 
around the world who have shown enterprise and innovation at a grass roots 
level to help protect the earth. The winner is selected based on an open 
vote and will receive a $20,000 grant from Shell to benefit the project. To 
vote, please visit the World Challenge website at 
http://www.theworldchallenge.co.uk/ before October 16. 

 Bartlett is currently a Peace Corps volunteer in Vanuatu. In addition to 
his work with the Rechargeable Battery and Reef Rehab Project, he founded 
the Nguna-Pele Marine Protected Area. Bartlett and the project will be 
featured on BBC World on September 3 and in the September 1 international 
editions of *Newsweek*.

 "The people of Nguna and Pele Islands in Vanuatu have had such an impact on 
my life as a young conservation scientist. Over thousands of years, these 
people have developed models for conservation and resource management that 
rival those of the best modern scientific institutions," said Bartlett. "My 
Peace Corps experience has been a defining stage in my life as a scientist, 
but most importantly as a citizen of the world."

 There are currently 73 volunteers serving in Vanuatu, a small island nation 
located in the Pacific Ocean. Peace Corps volunteers work primarily to 
increase access to quality education, particularly in rural areas. They also 
focus projects on income generation through business development, food 
security, sustainable agriculture, environmental conservation and youth 
development. Since the program's inception in 1990, nearly 300 volunteers 
have served in Vanuatu.

 Since 1961, more than 178,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, 
working in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and 
prevention, information technology, business development, the environment, 
and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 
18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.


Lisa K. Johnson

U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Yap State Environmental Protection Agency

Ph: 691-350-2113/2317 (EPA)

Fax: 691-350-3892 (EPA)

 Peace Corps/Micronesia

P.O. Box 190

Colonia, Yap, FSM 96943

Federated States of Micronesia

Ph: 691-350-2196/5087 (PC)

Fax: 691-350-2172 (PC)

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