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Fiji

Nabubu Village

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Conservation benefit: 560-acre marine no-take zone and 132-acre rainforest reserve for 15 years

Community benefit: Renovation and expansion of school and teachers quarters; water tanks

Date Approved: 02.2018

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.

The remote Fijian village of Nabubu, which is situated more than two hours’ drive over a rough dirt road from the town of Labasa, has pledged to protect both forest and ocean.

The community will protect a 560-acre marine area between the northern coast of Vanua Levu and Fiji’s Great Sea Reef, or Cakaulevu. The World Wildlife Fund calls this reef “a global treasure.” It is the third longest continuous barrier reef system in the world, stretching over 125 miles and covering more than 77,000 square miles. It is home to thousands of marine species, many of them endemic.

The community will also protect 132 acres of virtually untouched forest. The area contains many native Fijian hardwoods and is a haven for many of Vanua Levu’s 89 bird species.

A Seacology grant will help the village renovate its badly deteriorated primary school and teachers’ quarters. Because the timber used to build the school years ago wasn’t treated, it is now rotting, so everything gets wet when it rains. The blackboards, chairs, desks, and bookcases all need to be replaced. There is no running water or electricity. There is not enough space for the school’s 82 students, who come from three villages in the area.

A Seacology grant will make it possible for the community to:

  • install water storage tanks
  • completely refurbish the school and replace its furnishings
  • add two new classrooms, and
  • make the teachers’ quarters habitable.

Project Updates

December 2019

The forest and marine areas, near Fiji’s Great Sea Reef, are being protected. Because the village paid for the solar panels from another source, some of the Seacology grant was left over, and is being used to install a fence around the school grounds. This will keep disease-carrying cattle out and make space for a garden in which to grow food for staff and students.

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September 2018

The newly refurbished and expanded school was officially opened in a day-long ceremony this month, attended by Seacology cofounder Dr. Paul Cox, 11 members of Seacology Japan, program manager Mary Randolph, and other visitors. The village gave everyone a warm Fijian welcome, complete with dances, songs, speeches, food and drink. Dr. Cox spoke, in Fijian, about the village’s commitment to preserve its forest and marine resources.

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May 2018

Work began on this big project in late April, just as soon as school let out for holidays, and is going well despite stormy weather that caused some delay. Repair of the classrooms and verandah are almost done. The village’s head teacher, Meri Sauvou, says: “The contractors are doing a marvelous job. They completed the repair of the classrooms and the children are enjoying learning in a cool and beautiful environment. When it rains, the kids walk happily on the newly constructed verandah. No more wet classrooms. My parents and the whole community of Namuka-i-cake are so proud.”

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Full or partial funding for this project provided by Seacology Japan.

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