[Coral-List] Coral reefs of Vanuatu crowdfunding initiative

BSG Farm bsgfarm at peoplepc.com
Mon Dec 29 07:44:55 EST 2014

Dear Coral listers,

Coral reef conservation initiatives in populated regions where people retain traditional ecological knowledge are best achieved through collaborative efforts which integrate local knowledge with scientific knowledge. The 83 islands and widely dispersed reef structures that make up Vanuatu in the South West Pacific, lieing on the eastern edge of the Coral Sea, are one of our planet's remaining biocultural gems.  Vanuatu also has a remarkable Indigenous network of environmental resource monitors, known as Vanua-tai, actively engaged in protecting this rich environmental heritage.  The network's mission is ridge to reef sustainable resource management by Indigenous communities on customary owned lands. With great creativity and diversity in its programming and commitment from its members, this 20 year-old network has grown from a small number of volunteers focused on turtle monitoring and conservation to over 400 members across the archipelago who are working on a host of issues and interests relevant to their communities, with coral reef conservation a core focus. 

In 2015, our grassroots organization, Island Reach, working in collaboration in the US with The Ocean Foundation and other partners, will return to Vanuatu to work aboard Research Vessel Llyr to continue to provide the critical infrastructure and resources that the Vanua-tai need to achieve their goals. These services and resources include everything from transportation, training, surveys, materials, video documentation, climate change adaptation and food security strategies, and more.  We are crowdfunding so that we can return to Vanuatu in 2015 for 6 months of expedition to fulfill this partnership.   

Of particular focus right now in Vanuatu is a plague of Acanthaster planci, Crown of Thorns starfish, which are devouring the country's reefs.  While a complete halt of the infestation may not be achievable, experience in the country has shown that proper technology and coordinated local efforts can help protect particular reefs, thereby saving habitat and critical seed stock for future regeneration. 

We are excited to be going back to Vanuatu in April and invite you to learn more about our activities, share this story, and consider a donation to this project.  Please visit this following link and let us know what you think: 


Happy New Year!!

Janis & Brooks

Janis Steele, PhD & Brooks McCutchen, PhD
Island Reach and Research Vessel Llyr, Vanuatu & Fiji                            
Berkshire Sweet Gold Maple Farm, Heath, MA
farmhouse phone/fax: 413-337-8301 (US toll free 888-576-2753)
offshore email: wdg2668 at sailmail.com

Supporting biocultural diversity & sustainable harvests, from ridge to reef

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