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Nanuca Village


Conservation benefit: Protection of 1,134 acres of marine reserve and 208 acres of mangroves for 15 years

Community benefit: New community hall

Date Approved: 06.2014


This project protects mangroves, which trap more CO2 than any other kind of forest and as a result, slow global warming.


This project protects ocean ecosystems, making coastal communities more economically and physically secure in the face of climate change.

Nanuca Village is located east of the town of Savusavu, toward Vanua Levu’s Buca Bay. The village created two marine protected areas, which have been official since 2012.  One tabu area encompasses approximately 338 hectares (835 acres) of marine environment from shore to reef, as well as 84 hectares (208 acres) of mangroves, both on shore and on two islands. The village designated these areas as no-take for a period of at least 10 years. Another 121-hectare (299-acre) protected marine area extends from the mean low tide mark to the reef break. The village opens the area for one week at Christmastime.

The community members and fishing community, with the help of a former Peace Corps volunteer, conducted transect surveys to determine the best locations for the protected area. Two of the villagers received training and certification as honorary fish wardens. They now have the authority to uphold village fishing ground rules, as well as Fiji laws, regarding the marine environment.

Seacology is providing funding for a center to facilitate community meetings, conservation consultations, and children’s and women’s activities. In return, the community agreed to extend the protection of both the marine and mangrove areas for 15 years.

Project Updates

September 2022

The village is protecting its marine area well; the beach and waters are pristine. As a result, a small nearby resort is bringing a few tourists to the beautiful spot, creating some income for the community. Visitors can snorkel only if they are accompanied by a guide from the village, who explains that nothing may be touched. Village women provide lunch for the hungry snorkelers.

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July 2017

Seacology field representative Pettine Simpson and program manager Mary Randolph visited the community hall for a celebration that included food cooked by the village women, dancing, and singing. The hall has been beautifully decorated and is being used for many community functions. The marine protected area, off the community’s lovely beach, is well-marked and is being respected.

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October 2016

The community center was opened in a festive ceremony attended by the village chief, Seacology field representative Pettine Simpson, and many others. Pettine is planning a survey of the two protected areas.

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March 2016

We were thrilled to hear from Fiji Field Representative Pettine Simpson that the new building withstood category-5 Cyclone Winston with no damage. In fact, more than half of the village’s residents were able to use the building as a shelter during the storm.

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January 2016

This sturdy and handsome building was completed in November 2015, with help from a team of engineers from the Fiji Military Forces. The building, which has a spacious main room, veranda, a kitchen, two showers, and two toilets each for men and women. The community hopes to establish a relationship with a nearby resort to bring tourists to Nanuca for the village experience, something that would not have been possible without the community center. It will probably be the first time in their lives that the village women will have the chance to earn money.

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October 2015

The new community center is almost done. Field representatives Harry and Jackie Powell, along with Program Manager Mary Randolph, visited Nanuca and toured the building, which includes a spacious meeting room, kitchen, toilets and showers, and veranda. Women from the village were already weaving mats to be used on the floor.

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May 2015

According to Field Representatives Harry and Jackie Powell, the first 20-ton truckload of building materials was delivered to the village on May 4, with the next load due a week later. A team of engineers from the Fiji Military Forces also arrived to help village residents with construction. The engineers were originally scheduled to come in late March, but some were sent to Vanuatu to help out after Cylcone Pam in March. Construction should take about four months.

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January 2015

Building materials and water tanks have been purchased and will be delivered to the village as soon as engineers from the Fiji Military Forces are available to help village residents with construction. A date has not been set, but the engineers expect to finish their current project (building a primary school in another village) sometime in March 2015 and then begin work in Nanuca.

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