In Ra, the feasibility study found that the main opportunity was a marine conservation agreement to fund the proposed Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park in partnership with local communities, the tourism sector, and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). RESCCUE supported the formal establishment of the Park – which became Fiji’s largest marine protected area, and the development and adoption of the Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park management plan.
In parallel the project set up a marine conservation agreement and a local trust to cover recurrent management costs and support education and community development. 18 education grants for tertiary students were allocated in 2018 by to the newly established fund. The source of income is a voluntary contribution paid by divers and other visitors to the Park, generating an estimated EUR 6,000-12,000 per year.
In Kadavu, the feasibility study highlighted opportunities associated with island-wide organic farming certification, and demonstrated the financial and environmental benefits of kava organic certification (primarily for the export market). However, the two tropical cyclones Winston in 2016 and Keni in 2018 severely affected kava production in Fiji, postponing the shift to organic certification.