NATION

Resort Implements Climate Resilient Measures

Oneta Dive Resort is one of the eco-friendly resorts located on Ono Island, Kadavu. Richard Mercer, whose parents owned the Namale Resort and Koro Sun Resort in Savusavu, is the
22 Aug 2018 10:00
Resort Implements Climate Resilient Measures
Richard Mercer (left) with his staff of Oneta Dive Resort in Oneta, Kadavu on August 20, 2018. Photo: Sheenam Chandra

Oneta Dive Resort is one of the eco-friendly resorts located on Ono Island, Kadavu.

Richard Mercer, whose parents owned the Namale Resort and Koro Sun Resort in Savusavu, is the current General Manager of the resort.

Mr Mercer, who has years of experience and expertise in operating resorts, has been managing Oneta Dive Resort for almost 11 months.

He has implemented several changes to make the resort climate resilient.

The resort staff members compost organic waste, recycle other wastes and ship out tins and cans every week for recycling.

“Plus we try to grow our own vegetables,” Mr Mercer said.

Not only this, but there are wind turbines and solar panels in the resort, which is used to provide electricity to the entire resort.

“We have almost 80 per cent of the electricity that is generated by wind turbines and solar panels. Within 12 months we will be generating 100 per cent of our electricity through wind and solar,” Mr Mercer said.

It provides electricity to seven bure at the resort.

Not only this, Mr Mercer has employed locals to work at the resort. The staff quarters where they stay and work from.

“I have 22 staff members and 10 construction workers right now. We are packed out now, around 18-20 guests up to 25. It gets progressively bigger day by day and we are hiring more staff.”

The resort has grown progressively bigger, Mr Mercer says.

He says the remoteness, reefs and the people provide an authentic experience for the tourist.

“I am giving the visitors raw Fiji. There are no roads or walkway for the tourists,” Mr Mercer said.

“You have to be careful on how much you start messing with nature. The moment you start moving things around, we start interfering with the ecological balance of the system.

“We don’t build massive walkways or breakwaters because we never know what we have done because all of a sudden we have caused a big problem.”

On the issue of climate change, Mr Mercer said: “Everyone should be realistic. Climate change is not a Pacific problem. That is the perception that it is our problem. It is not. The reality is it is a global problem and we need to wake up to that.

“It is reality and it is happening. That is a real situation for us here but we do our bit to protect the environment.”

The dive master of Oneta Dive Resort has also been aware of the eco-safe practices the resort is taking.

“We have to protect the fish during game fishing events. There is also breeding season for the cod. The guests are not allowed to fish these specific fish,” said Vonijese Ravono.

“The guests when snorkelling or scuba diving are not allowed to touch the marine organisms.”

Mr Ravono says the resort is trying to incorporate removal of crown-of-thorns starfish as part of the guests’ activity.

The crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) is a large, multiple-armed starfish that usually preys upon hard, or stony, coral polyps.

“We also want to try out coral planting with the guests, but nothing is confirmed yet,” he said.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback:  sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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