Yasawa I Rara

July 2002

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.

Project Updates
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.

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