RESCCUE supported the Shefa Province and local chiefs in their efforts to establish a protected area named the Efate Land Management Area (ELMA). RESCCUE specifically supported a rapid biodiversity survey (Bioblitz) of the north-western Efate forests, in collaboration with the Vanuatu Department of Forestry, the Shefa Provincial Government Council, the Vaturisu Council of Chiefs and the Tasi Vanua and Nguna Pele Environment networks. A great case of collaboration between scientists and traditional knowledge holders!
In addition to the Bioblitz, the project conducted two pilot activities aiming at controling invasive species and fostering ecological restoration:
- A trial was undertaken to test locally-made pest-proof fences around a garden used to grow food, with the aim of excluding key pest species (rats, mice and Giant African Snails).
- An ecological restoration site was identified by the Epau community, on the eastern part of ELMA for on-site control of the vine Merremia peltata, agroforestry and reforestation activities, in collaboration with the Department of Forests. The site has been fenced and planting operations have recently begun.