Lau Seascape – Our Approach
Community integration in decision making - In collaboration with Conservation International, PBF is working with Lau communities to identify priority cultural heritage sites that need urgent protection and preservation as well as spatially mapping areas that are important from a marine biodiversity conservation and resource management perspective.
Unification of communities – PBF is working to unify local communities of Lau province, creating a shared vision for the future of Lau Seascape. We are encouraging the use of ‘totems’ to symbolise shared importance and common ownership over particular significant areas. Joint management plans will be developed for significant sites identified and shared by the communities of Lau Seascape.
Fish Warden Program - PBF is working with government authorities to empower local fish wardens with statutory enforcement powers to implement a Lau Seascape licensing and compliance monitoring system for no-local / international vessels..
Vessel management – PBF is working with maritime authorities to develop and implement a licensing system for non-local recreational and commercial tour vessels that aims to limit the number of vessels that can entered the Lau Seascape and implements stringent environmental management conditions of entry. A formal enforcement system is needed to manage pollution impacts and the risk of invasive species introductions attributed to poor waste and biosecurity risk management of these vessels.
Education and preservation of cultural knowledge – PBF is working with community leaders to record the traditional knowledge of the land and sea so that future generations can understand their role as custodians. In addition, we are helping to educate communities about the benefits of contemporary management tools such as ‘no take’ zones (used in marine parks to protect the highest areas of ecological value) so that these tools can be adopted within traditional management frameworks.