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Vanuatu

Nasawa

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Conservation benefit: Protection of all bird species and hardwood trees in a 1,339-acre area, as well as a 62-acre no-take marine reserve for 15 years

Community benefit: Renovation of three historical school buildings

Date Approved: 01.2008

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.

Nasawa Village, with a population of over 400 people, is one of the largest communities on Maewo Island. Most villagers maintain a traditional way of life, building small huts using bamboo trees for walls and coconut leaves for the roofing. The communities are concerned about population growth and diminishing fish and prawn catches, increased forest clearing for farmland, and an increase in bird and water eel catches.

Since the 1980s, Nasawa has been seeking financial assistance from the local government for renovation of their historical school buildings. Seacology is providing funds to renovate these school buildings. In exchange, the Nasawa community will preserve all bird species and hardwood trees commonly used for timber in a 1,339-acre area. They will also set aside a 62-acre no-take marine reserve for fish, shells, turtles, and crabs for 15 years.

Project Updates

June 2010

As of June 2010 Kevin reports that the situation remains much the same. The government project to build an airport in the area is on hold.

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December 2009

As of December 2009 protection of bird species continues. There was a small area close to the chief’s residence at the beach where hardwood trees and bush trees were cut down to make way for a government project to build an airstrip at Nasawa. The marine reserve remains intact.

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July 2009

As of July 2009 the school renovations are complete. Field representative Kevin Tari attended a ceremonial opening of the three buildings on July 28.

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June 2009

As of March 2009 two buildings were fully refurbished and the village started work on the last building. Kevin Tari estimates that all three buildings will be complete and ready for an opening ceremony by June 2009.

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January 2009

Construction began in March 2008 with re-roofing one of the three buildings. Major construction has progressed slowly due to lack of permanent on-site skilled labor. As of August 2008 new roofing was installed on all three buildings and interior renovations in one building began. In September 2008 it was discovered that incorrect roofing lengths were installed by the on-site workers and was not successful in making the roofs leak-free. The contractor determined that all roofing had to be removed and replaced with correct roofing lengths.

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May 2008

The project was delayed in February due to lack of shipping options. As of March a ship was repaired and materials were sent to the village. In April roofing started on one of the buildings and most materials have been shipped to start renovations on one building. The on-site project leader is scheduled to travel to Maewo in early April to oversee construction. A second shipment of materials for renovations to the final two buildings is scheduled for early to mid 2008.

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