Yasawa I Rara
Conservation benefit: Preservation of two islands and the creation of a no-take marine reserve
Community benefit: Community center
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, with 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 businessman offered $700,000 to purchase one of the islands. The villagers declined the offer. Instead, the village signed an agreement with Seacology prohibiting development on both islands for a period of 20 years and establishing a no-take fishing reserve on the 80-square-mile area surrounding the islands for a period of 10 years. In return, Seacology is providing funds for the construction of a critically needed community center.
In 2009, Seacology also funded the purchase and installation of a solar water pump system for the community center in support of the community’s continued adherence to protecting the original conservation area.
- January 2007
- Seacology funded the repainting of the community center, which was in need of maintenance.
- November 2003
- The community center has been completed and was dedicated during the June 2003 expedition to Fiji.