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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.