PRESS RELEASE VANUATU WASTE, TOURISM & CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION CAMPAIGN
05 November 2014. Over 80 participants, school children, women and men attended a Waste, Tourism and Climate Change Adaptation Campaign that was organized by the SHEFA Tourism Office, in collaboration with the Vanuatu Tourism Development, Environment Department, Meteorology Department and the SPC-GIZ climate change programme on the 30th of October 2014 at Tanoliu Village, Northwest Efate. The objective of this waste campaign is to raise awareness on waste management and to strengthen the capacity of Havannah Area communities to cope with climate change impacts and associated risks on their tourism industry. Ultimately, the campaign seeks to build the resilience of the Havannah area’s natural ecosystems to climate events, and ensure that the community-based tourism industry is able to continue in the face of increasingly negative climate change impacts.
After months of planning, field visits, community consultations and workshops, a DVD was produced highlighting the real and localized impacts of climate change on the Havannah Harbour region, emphasizing the importance of improved waste management adaptation, reduces vulnerability and increase resilience. Representatives of Tanoliu Primary School, Mangalilui Primary School and Lelepa Primary School attended the launching alongside village chiefs, church elders, women leaders, youth representatives, NGOs and tourism stakeholders. Government agencies, including the Department of Tourism used the launching occasion to showcase their work in relation the campaign message.
The campaign, and DVD highlighted an innovative approach to demonstrate the ability of the local government to facilitate and coordinate a local climate and tourism initiative which meets both the economic and environmental development aspirations of local communities. By working together, stakeholders were able to demonstrate over 10 practical solutions to managing waste while also adapting to climate change and strengthening community-based tourism enterprises. Lessons learned were described in detail in order to support other local area councils in their waste, tourism and climate change aspirations.
At the launching, Dr. Christopher Bartlett of SPC-GIZ, asked the school children to remember 3 important words “Climate Change, Waste & Tourism”. Children were able to repeat these three words ad describe their relationship to each other throughout the day. Class teachers and head master/mistress were given copies of the DVD to continue promoting the message to new intakes in the coming years. Each village were given 5 copies of DVD to be given to churches, woman leaders, youth representatives and chiefs.
Mr. George Borugu, Director of Tourism, had in his hands a leaf and a plastic, and he asked the school kids “which of the two is foreign and can decay easily?” and they responded correctly.
Ms. Lucy Kappa, Tourism Officer, said after the launching “I was particularly touched to see that they (school kids) knew so much already about climate change and waste and how it can affect their environment if they fail to take care of it”.
For more information on the waste, tourism and climate change adaptation program contact SPC-GIZ Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region at VanuatuClimateChange@gmail.com or visit the NAB online Portal www.nab.vu.