Article | 03 Mar, 2024

Local communities in South Malekula empowered to protect natural resources

Seven new conservation sites were established when the LAMACCA Kiwa Initiative project team conducted their capacity trainings for community conservation and environment committees in South Malekula in September 2023.

The first training was held in Lamap, South Malekula, where the Lamap Conservation Committee and several community leaders gathered at the LAMACCA Training Hall. Twenty-five participants learned about dispute resolution and management regarding conservation areas, as well as sustainable use and management of marine and natural resources.

LAMACCA Project Manager, Mr. Peter Onis led the training, with Elder Joseph Soko - Nanamor Conservation Area Chair and Trainer, and Chief Hippolyte Lockvaro as the moderator. The successful event concluded with a site visit to the Lamap Nanamor Marine and Nature Conservation Area, followed by the installation of the Lamap Nanamor Lehur Marine and Nature Conservation Area signboard. As a result, community leaders identified three additional new nature and marine conservation sites.

The second day of training took place on Maskylene Island for the Maskylene and Avock Island Conservation Committees. With twenty attendees, the group participated in similar discussions and exercises.

Concluding the three days of training was Hokai village, on the south coast of South Malekula. Hokai, Achamb Island, and Varu village conservation committees met and chose a new area for nature and marine conservation.

Altogether, the LAMACCA Kiwa Initiative team, with assistance from the communities, installed seven signboards (Lamap Nanamor Conservation, Pelong (Maskylen) Conservation, Avock Community Conservation, Hokai Community Conservation, Achamb (Robinas) Conservation, Varun Community Conservation and Areuve Community Conservation) to mark the boundaries of the protected area.

The LAMACCA Kiwa Initiative Project is designed to benefit over thirty communities by providing education and raising awareness on several topics such as the environment, fisheries, agriculture, climate change, and the preservation of biodiversity resources and ecosystem services. It targets an area of 5,000 hectares, aiming to restore, preserve, and conserve natural and marine resources while planting 3,000 trees and conducting ten coral reef restoration activities. These efforts will lead to the establishment of five new conservation sites.

The LAMACCA (Lamap, Asuk, Maskylene, Avock Climate Change Association) project titled “Empowering community resilience through reforestation and coral reef restoration” is a local project under the Kiwa Initiative. The initiative is funded by the European Union (EU), Agence Française de Développement, Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and (DFAT) and New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).

The Kiwa Initiative has established partnerships with the Pacific Community (SPC), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Oceania Regional Office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Kiwa Initiative logo and donors and partners