Port Olry Village is located on the northeast side of Espiritu Santo Island. Espiritu Santo is the largest island in Vanuatu and has a population of over 1,800. Seacology is funding construction of a community hall to be used for village events. In exchange, the community will protect a total of 42 acres on and around Malleuth Island (15 acres) and Malmas Island (27 acres) for 20 years.
Conservation benefit: Creation of a 42-acre reserve on two islands for 20 years
Community benefit: New community hall
Date Approved: 01.2007
The community center is in good shape; Cyclone Pam didn’t do any serious damage to this island. Program Manager Mary Randolph visited beautiful Port Olry in October and was told that the protected area is well respected. the village chief’s brother lives on the beach and keeps an eye on it.
Community MPA and islands reserve remains strictly intact and has been also the main attraction for tourist/visitors drawn to Port Olry community. The community center is being used very regularly for woman’s club, youth, and other community meetings.
Kevin reports that the community MPA and island reserves remain strictly intact and have been the main attraction for tourists and visitors to the Port Olry community. The community center is being used very regularly though the interior still needs to be completed. Community leaders have agreed to take responsibility to complete the remaining work in the bathroom and kitchen as well as final paint.
Kevin Tari reports that the MPA is still being observed very strictly. The condition of the center remains much the same though there were reports that it has been used regularly for various meetings.
Senior Program Officer Karen Peterson attended the opening of the community hall in June 2009. There is still work to be done on the interior of the building, namely in the bathroom and kitchen. Field representative Kevin Tari will follow up with the builder. The two small islands under protection remain untouched. The village seems quite serious about conservation and has taken the extra measure of buoying off an additional part of their beachfront reef to protect an endangered sardine.
As of July 2008 a Seacology Germany delegation visited the site with field representative Kevin Tari. They visited the community as well as the two protected islands offshore, noting an active flying fox colony, sea birds, and signs of an active fish population surrounding the islands. Kevin reported the community remains very committed to their protected areas and that the community center itself was nearing completion and is still expected to be complete by the end of 2008. Field representative Kevin Tari visited the site in December 2008.
Roofing and window and door framing were scheduled to be constructed in November 2007. However, as of March 2008 the local timber supplier has delayed providing the remaining roofing materials. The entire building is now expected to be complete by mid to late 2008.
The project has experienced some delays due to transportation difficulties, the site leader’s travel schedule, and changes in the conservation plans due to land disputes. The walls and foundation were constructed as of August 2007. The entire building is expected to be completed by late 2007.
Plans for March through June include site preparation, purchase and transportation of materials and construction of the community hall. The building is expected to be completed by June 2007.