Community Marine Monitoring Toolkit officially released

THE official launch of the Community Marine Monitoring Toolkit and accompanying poster and guide on effective marine tabu areas was held in Emua Village, North Efate on Thursday.

RESCCUE_1The Community Marine Monitoring Toolkit has been developed as part of the RESCCUE project led by the Pacific Community (SPC) that aims to increase North Efate ecosystem and community resilience to climate change.

A spokesman for RESCCUE said it provides a novel approach to community monitoring that has been co-developed with community nominated Marine Champions from Nguna-Pele Marine and Land Protected Area, Tasi-Vanua environmental networks representing 27 communities, and the Vanuatu Fisheries Department.

RESCCUE_2“The Toolkit supports local monitoring of marine environments to detect changes caused by human activities and natural events.

“Identified early in the RESCCUE project in as a key need of communities in North Efate, local monitoring is important as it provides regular information as an early warning of changes or impacts (eg: coral bleaching, crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks, or decline in fish),” said the spokesman.

“Monitoring also raises awareness about the impacts of human activities such as fishing and the range of management actions available for local issues. The Toolkit methodology empowers communities to take control of local marine resource management through an inclusive and informed process and allows communities to determine if local management actions are effective.”

RESCCUE_3The event had a strong presence of government officials, village Chiefs, regional organisations and local community members. Launching these important resources was celebrated in traditional Vanuatu style.

The day celebrated the combined efforts of local Marine Champions, Vanuatu Government and specialist personnel from C2O Pacific, David Welch, Johanna Johnson and Jane Waterhouse, and from OceansWatch, Eryn Hooper and Glenn Edney, who have worked together over the past three years to develop the Toolkit.

The RESCCUE project is funded by the French Development Agency and the French Global Environment Facility, facilitated through the Vanuatu Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and coordinated by SPC.