Island Reach is on Conservation Expedition in Vanuatu, Melanesia
November 16, 2015
Here’s a word from Drs. Janis Steele & Brooks McCutchen of Island Reach—a Mission Blue partner:
We’re pleased to offer our 2015 expedition video shot in Bislama with English subtitles and produced in the field onboard Research Vessel Llyr. The video demonstrates peer-to-peer engagement among indigenous conservation activists while introducing viewers to remote regions of Vanuatu, her gorgeous oceanscapes and islands, intriguing people (1,000 villages and 120 languages spanning 83 islands) and the challenges and excitement of designing local ridge to reef conservation actions and climate change adaptation solutions—one reef and one village at a time.
Climate Change and Biocultural Collapse are Calls to Action
This 24-minute film features indigenous conservation leaders and communities in high gear, crafting sustainable solutions to local challenges. Their accomplishments and optimism are inspiring! The film is now being used as a training tool across remote villages of Vanuatu. Its energetic images, music, and messages also intend to bridge between our far flung cultures: One Earth, one Ocean, one People. Here it is:
It is no coincidence that much of our planet’s densest biological diversity resides in the homelands of indigenous people. One can go as far as to say that biological and cultural diversity are inextricably linked. Traditional ecological knowledge is an invaluable resource for local management and adaptation strategies and protecting it is a critical part of building community resilience. Vanuatu’s rich biocultural diversity is at risk in the face of accelerating climate change, population shifts, and the fierce pressures of extractive economies of scale. Using the conservation platform Research Vessel Llyr, Island Reach (IR) moves a cross-cultural team into remote locations to provide resources, training, and infrastructure, and to share lessons learned among communities and NGO partners. The team catalyzes and supports diverse reef conservation projects, community-managed conservation areas, and climate change adaptation practices. We further assist with cyclone and El Niño relief through water and food security actions. Island Reach partners with indigenous trainers to bolster and expand Wan Smolbag’s Vanua-tai Resource Monitors Network and with them we headline conservation conferences. In the field, IR’s targeted videos travel with trainers from village to village, linking communities by generating curiosity and inspiration to form new community environmental networks and motivation for conservation practices. Our NGO partners use these same materials and IR technical assistance for training, documentation, assessment, and project promotion.
Stay Connected with us! You’ll find much more to explore and plenty of ways you can shoulder in to strengthen our reach at IslandReach.org
Janis & Brooks & the Island Reach Team
Island Reach collaborates with The Ocean Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
Janis Steele, Ph.D. & Brooks McCutchen, Ph.D.
Island Reach & Berkshire Sweet Gold Maple Farm
(Featured image © Island Reach).