Communities participating in the CRI program in Vanuatu have just finished the resilience planning process, and they don’t just have one plan – they have many!
After communities participated in information gathering to produce Community Resilience Profiles, they used these profiles, with the help of the Vanuatu Live & Learn team, as the basis for planning pathways, unique to each community, but with many aspects in common.
In the planning workshops community representatives also drew ‘best future’ pictures to help envisage where planning pathways would take them. These pictures are a different, and beautiful, way of envisaging the holistic nature of resilience planning. These pictures show what a healthy community would look like, including healthy ecosystems.
Integral to the CRI programme are nature-based solutions (NbS), and it is therefore not surprising that conservation areas, covering forest and marine environments, are important means of ecosystem resilience for most of our Vanuatu communities. Some communities already have these conservation areas in place and are strengthening management plans and formalising agreements. Others are starting out on this process and will be assisted by Live & Learn Vanuatu and local government with biodiversity assessments and possible management plans.
Forests and oceans provide livelihoods for many community members, and so need to be protected, as do local food gardens. These areas will benefit from community members being trained on sustainable land and ocean management practices. In particular, communities will benefit from newer crop varieties that are better adapted to warmer temperatures and longer dry periods, methods of soil rejuvenation and sustainable agroforestry measures. Additionally, many communities are also exploring market opportunities, assisted by the Vanuatu government.
Part of the training on sustainable land management is the revitalisation of Indigenous knowledge, which is happening in our Indigenous Leadership element of CRI. This covers traditional ways of caring for forest, ocean and farmland, as well as ensuring that craft traditions are past on. The Indigenous Leadership program ensures that the strengths of the past will be used to bring about community visions for their ‘best future’.
Climate Resilient Islands is a New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade initiative, implemented by Live & Learn Environmental Education, with funding provided by the New Zealand Government.