Project Category
Project Category
Project Description
Project Description
The Hat island is a significant cultural site that now declared as the only World Heritage site in Vanuatu. A number of surveys conducted on both the island and reefs throughout the buffer zone has shown that these cultural taboos have protected strong populations of a number of species of flora and fauna, classified as either rare or endemic in this region. These include: Croton levatii, Cycas seemannii, Cryptoblepharus novahebridicus (Scincidae), Birgus latro, and Megapodius layardi. These rare species located in remnant pockets of biodiversity are in need of immediate protection. A key element of the World Heritage site is a large fringing reef. Surveys of marine resources in and around the Buffer zone, that were commissioned as part of the Inscription process have shown that many of the reefs that fall within the Buffer Zone, are key breeding areas that are support the health of the marine ecosystem for the entire region. For example, there are extensive populations of Coconut Crabs (Birgus Iatro) as well as large turtle populations. The nearby local communities were not fully aware of the legality the buffer areas being declared for protection of the WH site. Faced with low economic opportunities the local land holders are engaged sale of land leases for development including areas in the buffer sone. Within the World Heritage Site-Vanuatu (WHSV) and it s Buffer Zone, cultural taboos and sanctions on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems of rich biodiversity in the region. The WHSV located within indigenous land and in the vicinity of the main town that it faced the competing demand for urban development space. These had detriments such as sale of indigenous land on lease that resulting unsustainable development activities within buffer zones. The project will empower local community to sustainably manage activities within the buffer zone area of the WHSV through alternative income generating ecotourism activities, sustainable subsistence livelihood farmings and fishing and awareness on laws for sustainable land use and the long term protection of the CRMD. Uncontrolled development is the major threat to the environment, cultural heritage and sustainability of communities in the Lelema region where the World Heritage site is located. Developing a land use plan in the Lelema region will involve a participatory planning approach. This will require extensive custom landowner consultation and community decision making about all key environmental and sustainability issues.
Our Reference Number
Our Reference Number
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