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Fiji

Yasawa I Rara

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Conservation benefit: Preservation of two islands and the creation of a no-take marine reserve

Community benefit: Community center

Date Approved: 07.2002

Forest

This project protects forest, preventing the release of greenhouse gases and reducing erosion that damages coastal and ocean ecosystems.

Ocean

This project protects ocean ecosystems, making coastal communities more economically and physically secure in the face of climate change.

Yasawa I Rara is a remote village located in the northern portion of the Yasawa Islands in Fiji’s western region. By Fijian standards it is a relatively large village, with a population of 600. The village holds title to two small islands, Yalewakalou and Yawini Ciri, which have a combined land area of 1.8 square miles (1,152 acres). The village also has fishing rights to a large 80-square-mile (51,200-acre) area surrounding these islands.

Recently, a foreign business offered $700,000 to purchase one of the islands. The villagers declined the offer. Instead, they signed an agreement with Seacology, prohibiting development on both islands for 20 years and establishing a no-take fishing reserve in the 80-square-mile area around the islands for 10 years. In return, Seacology is providing funds for the construction of a critically needed community center.

In 2009, Seacology funded the purchase and installation of a solar water pump system for the community center, in support of the community’s continued protection of the original conservation area.

Project Updates

January 2007

Seacology funded the repainting of the community center, which was in need of maintenance.

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November 2003

The community center has been completed and was dedicated during the June 2003 Seacology expedition to Fiji.

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