Financially supported by BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION SMALL GRANTS SCHEME
Project Title: Mobile Environmental Resource Centre
Project Implementer: LäjeRotuma Initiative
Submitted by: February 3, 2005
The mobile environmental resource centre is one of five theme areas that the Initiative has proposed for its activity focus on Rotuma Island and the interaction and participation for activities on the island is based on the Adopt-a-village Scheme in which it is hoped that the community spirit is enhanced when activities are ‘owned’ by the community, therefore sustainable and meaningful. All components of the model below are inter-linked and its activities complement each theme area and its objectives.
PLANNED PROJECT DATES: June – November 2004
1. CLOTH BAG CONCEPT
Objective: To reduce the use of plastic bags for household use; and lobby for reduction of import of plastic bags to the island by shops. This is a first step in the process to the following:
The cloth bag concept is the first step in this activity as an incentive at household level to try reducing the use of plastic bags.
Test and Evaluation of the Cloth Bag Concept:
103 cloth bags were printed with 52 cloth bags distributed in Suva and 51 cloth bags taken to Rotuma early 2003. Upon evaluation, households indicated that it is a good idea and two of the popular use of the cloth bag provided were used for household shopping and carry of lunch boxes by children to school. This level of awareness at the household level regarding the reduced use of plastic bags has began which is hoped to enhance and build on the next step in targeting the shops which import the plastic bags and provide freely to shoppers.
The table below provides the distribution pattern of cloth bags to households on Rotuma Island.
Assessing ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS IN ROTUMA
A series of questions were asked during household visit to gauge the level of understanding about the environment and its connection to daily living and the future.
Results were tabulated as average percent of all households surveyed per district relative to frequency of answers to questions outlined.
Q1. Having a healthy marine environment is a very important part of my culture? My family’s health is linked to the health of marine life.
Generally, above 70% of households surveyed know of the importance of the sea and if something happens to endanger the ecological integrity and threaten ‘their source of fish and food’ then it does matter what happens to the environment. The cultural aspect and traditional knowledge of the sea is fast disappearing as was told by the older generation.
Q2. Do you know about LäjeRotuma? Positive/Negative
Since LäjeRotuma first began and coordinated activities on the island which included coastline cleanups, school poster competition and video sessions, drama and theatre outreach programs at both schools and communities. The study results suggest that in overall, four out of the seven districts on the island have heard and know a fair bit about the initiative’s efforts on the island.
There were 7 marine-related concerns highlighted by the household survey and this included dumping of rubbish (mostly plastic bags) to sea. This environmental concern was expressed by all seven districts during the household survey.
Island Vision for the next 5 years
Natural resource management in Rotuma would need to address issues in consultation with the communities as the Initiative has done during its community outreach program. Some of the issues raised include:
PROJECT PROGRESS UPDATE:
There are 200 cloth bags currently in production with XOOLU which will be taken during March Rotuma trip to be distributed to the rest of the communities who are partners in the LäjeRotuma Initiative.
The production of the poster as indicated in the Small Grants Scheme Proposal submitted, is currently being reviewed and edited before printing.
From the total funds granted amounting to $2,270.00FJD, an amount of $99.00FJD has been spent for the cloth bag printing (this was part of the first batch of cloth bags for the evaluation of the usefulness of the cloth bags).
EXTENDED PROPOSED PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION DEADLINE: April 2005
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