Community-based monitoring of biodiversity and forests of Vanuatu

On the picture you can see rangers measuring plants
  • Country: Vanuatu
  • Organisation: Live and Learn Vanuatu
  • Support area: Conserving natural carbon sinks / forestry
  • IKI funding: 114,598 euros
  • Project start: 01/01/2022
  • Project end: 31/12/2023
  • Website: http://www.livelearn.org/

Vanuatu, an island state in the South Pacific, is one of the regions most affected by climate change in the world. Effective management of Community Conservation Areas has been identified as pivotal for area-based approaches to protect key biodiversity species and for supporting sustainable livelihoods in a changing climate. The IKI Small Grants project introduces community-based monitoring in Vanuatu’s community protected areas, based on a mobile app for local rangers, thus improving national biodiversity and forest observation. The project creates added value by further developing and testing a ranger tool kit and app, introducing these tools in the protected areas, and feeding the results into national monitoring systems. With the local communities as well as national government institutions and environmental NGOs involved, all relevant target groups are addressed and their participation in sustainable land use planning is supported.

INITIAL SITUATION

Land in Vanuatu is 98% community owned. Community Conservation Areas (CCA) are factually the sole legal structure for conservation area management.

The currently 9 existing CCAs in Vanuatu range from 100 to 10,000 and more hectares and are each managed by a local CCA committee according to an individual management plan and supported by local rangers.

The absence of a functional community-based monitoring system, small operating resources, and intangible benefits lead to limited management efforts and effectiveness in the 9 gazetted CCA. To better manage CCAs and their registration, effective tools and resources need to be provided to rangers and CCA committees.

TARGET GROUP

The project involves 6 CCAs, with the respective local and custom authorities, CCA committees and rangers. Currently, most registered CCA governance groups, CCA committees and rangers are voluntarily based positions. The usually 13 committee members include 2 rangers.

On the national level, heads of environment and forestry departments, planning- and GIS-officers as well as relevant ODA-project managers are targeted. The project works especially closely with the Department of Environment, Protection and Conservation Department, to which the first draft version of the Ranger Toolkit & Ranger App was presented in 2019.