Ioan Viji Nursery Officer facilitating a field session during the workshop

The University of the South Pacific (USP) European Union Intra-African, Caribbean and Pacific Global Climate Change Alliance and the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building (PACRES) successfully organised a three-day tree planting workshop for a number of communities in Vanuatu.

Participants were from communities surrounding the Tagabe River, Tanvasoko Area Council's Blacksands communities, Port Vila Northern Ward's Tagabe and Ohlen communities. 

The workshop aimed at enhancing the understanding and capacity of change agents from provincial, municipality offices and communities with regards to tree planting and nurturing.

The 3-day training included a classroom-based session at the Vanuatu Department of Forests and within its nurseries.

On the final day of the workshop, participants focused on tree planting around the upper Tagabe River watershed, Erangorango and zone 3 of the Matnakara Protection Zone of the Port Vila Water Source. 

The training was facilitated by SPREP PACRES Nursery Officer, Ioan Viji, and Shefa Forest Officer from the Department of Forest, Judy Kalotap.

The 24 change agents who participated in the training help planted 500 mahogany seedlings during the workshop. 

Following their training, the participants were given the opportunity to organise their own community tree-planting activities. Participants were also able to showcase how to take care of trees that were planted previously and replant trees destroyed by natural disasters.

PACRES team also collaborated with Ridge to Reef (R2R); Department of Climate Change; Department of Forests; Vanuatu Foresters Association and community NGOs such as Ifira Marine Management; Maro Landscaping and Botanical Garden to conduct tree-planting day at the Tagabe River estuary along the Black Sand’s coast to commemorate World Water Day, World Meteorological Day and Forests Week, events in March.

PACRES Vanuatu Research and Community Officer (RCO), Morris Harrison said this was a huge success.

“More than 2000 people living along the Tagabe River from Tagabe and Black Sands areas will be benefiting from this planting programme,” he said. 

“In addition, more than 51,000 residents of Port Vila City and the peri-urban areas of Tanvasoko, Ifira, Pango, Erakor and Eratap, who are connected to the Port Vila Water supply system will also benefit from this activity.”

Over the years, the Tagabe River level has dropped significantly. Most of the participants depended on the Tagabe River for most of their water needs.

Mr Harrison added that the trees planted will act as a buffer to protect the upper Tagabe River Catchment area.

A follow-up planting activity is being scheduled for this month with communities in Erangorango.

The EU Intra-ACP GCCA+ PACRES programme supports Vanuatu's climate resilience efforts.  SPREP, the Pacific Community (SPC), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), and USP work in partnership to deliver the EU Intra-ACP GCCA+ PACRES initiative.

The University of the South Pacific is implementing a EUR 2.5 million capacity building of the EU Intra-ACP GCCA+ PACRES initiative component of the project.

Original Publication