Entries in #island (5)


Cinnamon Coffees, Bananagrams and Sota  Tale

In the past two weeks we have welcomed a new volunteer, Bridget, to the Beqa camp for 3 weeks. Bridget has already completed her dive training in South America and is ready to start surveying as soon as she has passed her coral tests...

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New Project Coordinator - Jess Betts 

Meet Jess Betts, our new Project Coordinator in Fiji Beqa and learn aboput her past experience and what she's looking forward to in the next 6 months

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First Trip Over To Beqa

Having been here five months and monthly sending volunteers and project staff in that direction I finally had the opportunity to go over to Beqa. I couldn’t previously because we always had volunteers in Suva – I couldn’t just up and leave them!

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My Time On Beqa 

I got to spend a weekend on Beqa Island which was so much fun. It rained the entire weekend and I came back covered in mud but the people on camp made the weekend awesome, I was in hysterics the whole weekend.

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Waste management in Fiji

Beqa, an island 10km south of the mainland Viti Levu, has a population of 3,000 people with zero access to recycling facilities.

The difficulty with Island states is that by nature, there are many islands separated by ocean and spread many miles apart. Any form of government implementation begins with the mainland, but can then take many years to disseminate to the other outlying islands.

Fortunately, here is where non-governmental organisations can help to make the most contribution by offering assistance to the islands that are further out of reach both in distance, funding and even governance.

Despite the Fiji Islands not being top of the list of the world’s largest polluters, and while the ‘polluter pays’ principle is only in financial terms, sadly it will be the islands of the South Pacific that will feel the effects of sea level rise first, and pay in very different terms. Therefore, meeting targets is not just to appease the international community, but to protect themselves from imminent natural destruction.

Recycling and smart sustainable waste management is limited primarily to the mainland and island resorts. The island resorts ‘self-manage’ their own waste, which can take on a variety of meanings.  Island resorts, which cater to tourists both local and international, and have an image of beauty, hygiene and cleanliness to uphold in order to keep business ticking. With this economic incentive, ‘self managing’ waste makes perfect business sense, and does a service for the surrounding environment.  But what happens on the outlying islands outside of tourist hotspots?

Currently, most of the waste is either being burned, buried or thrown out to sea on Beqa. Options are limited when there are no recycling banks on the island, and with few boats heading to the mainland everyday, a week’s accumulation of waste (if not less) is soon dealt with actions providing immediate results, in other words, it’s out of the house, so that’s good enough for now. Though landfill and incineration are unsustainable options, they’re also not options given that islands are too small for landfills, and industrial incinerators come at a cost, not to mention the fact that Beqa has no roads for mass transportation of waste.

Moving forward, Frontier are here to make a commitment to the land and people of Beqa, and to work with the land and people of Beqa as we embark on establishing a waste management programme to help maintain a healthier, cleaner and beautiful Beqa!

By Sophia Victorian - Project Coordinator

Find out more about Frontier's volunteering projects in Fiji.

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