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Employment And Education Opportunities For The People Of Ra

Employment And Education Opportunities For The People Of Ra
Sun Coast Tourism chairman Nick Darling with Wildlife Conservation Society Director Sangeeta Mangubhai during the launching of the Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park at the Nanukuloa Village, yesteday
May 04
11:10 2018

The people of the 28 villages of Nakoro­tubu District in the province of Ra will soon experience a huge surge of development in terms of employment and education opportunities.

Wildlife Conservation So­ciety (WCS) Director Sang­eeta Mangubhai during an interview said this would be due to the recent launch­ing of the Vatu-i-Ra Conser­vation Park.

Ms Mangubhai said 30 per cent of the total earn­ings from the conservation park would be directed to its management and opera­tional welfare.

“The funds generated will be allocated as follows 40 per cent will be allocated to provide educational support for students from a single clan, Naqiloqilo with rights to the Vatu-i-Ra island, 30 per cent for educational support to the remaining communities and 30 per cent for the day-to-day management of the Park,” Ms Mangubhai said.

In addition, she said at present 18 students had been given small education grants catering for their tertiary education, and that number could increase with the progression of time.

“We are setting up a vol­untary contribution to the conservation of the park where visitors that go to the park whether domestic or international can volun­tarily contribute to and the funds for that is being set up to manage the park but also for the education fund for children.”

This was in accordance to the WCS management plan which states that all visitors to the Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park would be offered the opportunity to contribute voluntarily (currently FJD$15 per per­son per year) to support the day-to-day management and a tertiary level educa­tion fund.

Ms Mangubhai also high­lighted that people from the 28 villages would also be or are already employed with the 11 tourism operators in the area, conducting diving activities in the conserva­tion park areas.

No Fishing Licences to Be

Issued and Other Protection for Vatu-i-Ra Area

“With the formation of the “taboo area”, fishing licence for the area are no longer being issued, at this time two enforcement options are being consid­ered,” Ms Mangubhai said.

However, Ms Mangubhai revealed that there were still some shortcomings to these two options.

“Community policing would be the preferred op­tion but requires a boat and fuel and would be costly, while entrusting responsi­bility to the tourism opera­tors is attractive, but would be limited to the time they visit the area.”

On the upside, she said the reefs geographic location provided a protection from local communal fishing.

“The reefs are 15km off­shore and have some natu­ral protection from most lo­cal community subsistence farming but are vulnerable to large fishing boats from the mainland.”

She said they would be im­plementing some security plans and measures that would address that and be ensuring the protection of the park from exploitation.

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

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