The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and Wan Smolbag Theatre (WSB) signed an agreement this month to work together to establish a demonstration site for urban food gardens in Port Vila and to support the turtle monitoring programme in Vanuatu.
Speaking on behalf of SPREP, Country Manager for the Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change Project (PEBACC), David Loubser praised the long standing relationship between SPREP and WSB for environmental work in Vanuatu.
“SPREP has supported WSB’s environmental work for many years. With this MoU we expand that relationship to include working together to help urban communities become more food and water secure, something that is very important given the increasing pressure facing communities today.”
The project to commence in 2019 will see the establishment of community based urban food gardens and tree nurseries to encourage and intensify local food production, firewood alternatives, medicinal plants, construction materials, and mat and basket-making materials production in home gardens.
WSB Horticulture Trainer, Helen Wood and Horticulture Trainee, Massing Baticknaim at the garden demonstration site
“Through the growing of traditional root vegetables at the gardens, we hope to increase people’s understanding of good nutrition and encourage more growing and consumption of local food. We will also focus on preservation and storage of production in home gardens.” Mr Loubser said.
As part of the activities to improve crop yield, permaculture practices will be demonstrated in addition to other practices such as composting and mulching.
“We will also be establishing tree nurseries and seed sources to support riparian, coastal and urban regeneration across the greater Port Vila region together with the Departments of Forestry and Agriculture.” Mr Loubser added.
Further to this, SPREP will also be supporting WSB to build on its turtle monitoring programme in Vanuatu.
“Through this partnership, we will continue our support of WSB’s turtle monitoring programme and expand work to include wider marine monitoring and protection through the Vanua Tai Resource Monitor Networks (VTRMN), a valuable network of community based rangers and ocean champions.”
“The Vanua Tai network is key to delivering a standardised approach to community conservation areas. This is an area that the Government, SPC’s RESCCUE Project and SPREP’s PEBACC Project have identified as a need.” Mr Loubser highlighted.