Mar 2, 2013

Birding in Fiji

Fiji, compared to other South Pacific nations such as New Guinea, lacks a diversity of avian life but there are enough interesting and sometimes spectacular looking birds to attract visitors from throughout the world. In all, there are about 80 species of terrestrial and freshwater birds of which about 10 have been introduced. They are distributed throughout the islands but those interested in sampling an array bird should consider visiting three islands: Viti Levu (which has 56 of the 81 known species found in the group), Kadavu, and the Garden Island of Taveuni. In general, the larger islands tend to be more ecologically intact and the bigger birds—notably the parrots and pigeons—are easily seen.
Birding in Fiji:

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Jan 3, 2013

Fiji Pelagic Trips - May - September 2012 — Fiji Bird Watching


Fiji Pelagic Trips – May – September 2012

While living in Fiji (May-September 2012), I did several “pelagic” trips.
These involved riding on scheduled ferry trips or on chartered fishing trips.
There is limited information (almost none) on pelagic birding in Fiji.
Thus, I have compiled the data I gathered to help someone trying to see pelagic species in Fiji.

Trips

June 25: Suva to Gau Ferry with Consort Shipping
June 30: Fishing trip south of Pacific Harbor with Freedive Fiji
July 23: Suva to Gau Ferry with Consort Shipping
August 13-14: Suva to Taveuni Ferry with Goundar Shipping
August 24: Kadavu to Suva Ferry with Goundar Shipping

Jun 28, 2012

UN award for local Sisi Initiative/Natewa Tunuloa Site Support Group

THE Sisi Initiative/Natewa Tunuloa Site Support Group is one of 25 recipients of the Equator Initiative Award at the United Nations (UN) Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
A voluntary group of local landowners from Fiji has been awarded a prestigious Equator Prize for 2012. A representative of the group, Silio Lalaqila, received the award at a special ceremony last night co-hosted by actor, Ed Norton and Brazilian actress and environmental advocate, Camilla Pitanga.
The ceremony was also attended by heads of states, U.N. representatives and a list of celebrities, and held at the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development (also known as Rio+20) which currently underway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Sisi Initiative is a BirdLife Fiji project. the group is named after the Sisi bird — also known as the Silktail Lamprolia victoriae - which is found only in the Natewa Tunuloa Peninsula on Fiji’s second-largest island of Vanua Levu.
This peninsula is one of the 14 Important Bird Areas in Fiji identified by BirdLife International as globally vital for conserving biodiversity. However, the birds’ old-growth rainforest habitat is being encroached upon by forces such as illegal logging, forest fires, overgrazing, agricultural expansion and the spread of invasive species.
In response to these threats, the Sisi group has been working with communities to wisely use and manage their natural resources in order to conserve the endemic bird while at the same time improving their own way of life. Actively managing more than 6,000 hectares (almost 15,000 acres) of forest, six villages are turning to income-generating activities that are compatible with conservation, including beekeeping, jewelry-making and ecotourism.
Silio Lalaqila — a representative of Fiji’s Sisi Initiative — accepted the Equator Prize on behalf of the community group at a Rio+20 award ceremony. (© CI/Photo by Kim McCabe)
Receiving the award Wednesday, Silio was overwhelmed by emotions, having traveled from his day job as a farmer, across the globe to receive the award in front of many world leaders.
“I felt proud to be a Fijian receiving this award on behalf of all the communities in Fiji that are actively engaged in conserving their natural resources”, said Silio. “It was more special getting the award in front of my own Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama”.
“I am so thankful to BirdLife International for all the help they gave us to manage and conserve our natural resources”, he added.
The Equator Initiative is a partnership that brings together the U.N., governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to build capacity and raise the profile of local efforts towards sustainable development.
“The Sisi project is an example of strong partnership with the local communities”, said Miliana Ravuso – Programme Coordinator form the BirdLife International Pacific Secretariat.
“Over time, and with much dialogue and awareness-raising conducted by BirdLife and other stakeholders, the communities have realised the importance of protecting the Silktail and its habitat, and recognized the potential for an ecotourism birding venture”.
“The communities understood the destructive impacts of unsustainable logging and land-management practices, and realized that they could better manage existing natural resources and still derive income from them through alternative livelihood projects,” said Milly.
The work of the Sisi Initiative has been kindly supported by the GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP – implemented by UNDP), Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), UK Darwin Initiative and Australian Government Regional Natural Heritage Programme.
“We are proud to support organisations such as the Sisi Initiative group, which empowers indigenous communities to protect, manage and steward the natural resources in their communities, said Patricia Zurita – Executive Director of CEPF.

The Sisi Initiative is a UN Development Program (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Program (SGP) Fiji grantee.
SGP supports activities of non-government and community-based organisations in developing countries towards climate change abatement.
The SGP also supports the groups in the protection and conservation of the environment.
The Sisi Initiative through its partner Birdlife Fiji received the funding in 2011 for a reforestation program on the Natewa Tunuloa Peninsula.
Receiving the prize on behalf of the group was Sisi Initiative/project co-ordinator Sirilo Lalaqila.
A high powered Fiji government delegation was on hand to show support to Mr Lalaqila.
The Sisi Initiative is a BirdLife Fiji project. the group is named after the Sisi bird — also known as the Silktail Lamprolia victoriae — which is found only in the Natewa Tunuloa Peninsula on the island of Vanua Levu.

Sisi_Initiative
THE Sisi Initiative/Natewa Tunuloa Site Support Group
The Sisi Initiative, which manages natural resources around the periphery of the Natewa Tunuloa Important Bird Area (IBA), is being recognized for its work establishing a 6,000-hectare community-managed forest and developing alternative livelihood options for the area's indigenous landowners.  


The project was originally developed to respond to the problems of  illegal logging, forest fires, overgrazing, agricultural encroachment and invasive alien species around the IBA, which includes large tracts of old-growth rainforest that support globally threatened birds.


A focus of the project was developing a strong partnership with the communities. Over time and with much dialog and awareness-raising conducted by BirdLife and other stakeholders, the communities came to realize the importance of protecting an endemic bird, the silktail (Lamprolia victoriae) and its habitat, and recognized the potential for an ecotourism birding venture. The communities understood the destructive impacts of unsustainable logging and land-management practices, and realized that they could better manage existing natural resources and still derive income from them through alternative livelihood projects.


“This initiative is a learning model for community-based conservation and forest management across Fiji,” said Patricia Zurita, executive director of CEPF. “We are proud to support organizations such as the Sisi Initiative Site Support Group (SSG), which empowers indigenous communities to protect, manage and steward the natural resources in their communities.”

The 25 recipients of the Equator Prize 2012 will each receive $5,000 (USD), and representatives of winning communities will be presented their awards today at the Equator Prize Gala held in conjunction with the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), currently under way in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


In addition to grants provided by CEPF, the initiative also has received funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF)-Small Grants Programme for a two-year project that includes the establishment of two village nurseries and the development of an ecotourism package for the IBA.






iji's Sisi Initiative Site Support Group manages natural resources around the periphery of the Natewa Tunuloa Important Bird Area. The organization has established a 600-hectare community protected forest and developed alternative livelihood options for the area's indigenous landowners.


Developed in response to illegal logging, forest fires, overgrazing, agricultural encroachment and invasive alien species, the organization uses an innovative incentive scheme to protect the globally important bird and wildlife species in Natewa Tunuloa. 


Communities sign a Memorandum of Understanding in which they agree to protect the community forest and refuse logging concessions. In return, the initiative provides alternative livelihood training and projects in beekeeping, poultry, handicraft and jewelry-making, bakery and pastry-making, and sustainable agricultural. The group's model farm and tree nursery also help to reduce deforestation. 


The initiative has been used as a learning model for community-based conservation and forest management across Fiji.


Contacts:
Talemo Tukidia / Miliana Ravuso
Nadavaci Village, Natewa, Cakaudrove, Fiji
milly@birdlifepacific.org.fj


Partner: BirdLife International







UN award for local group

May 26, 2012

Matava Eco Adventure Resort earns 2012 Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence

Honoured as a Highly Rated Resort as Reviewed by Travellers on the World’s Largest Travel Site

KADAVU, FIJI – 24th May 2012 – Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Lees than 10 percent of accommodations listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.
TripAdvisor Excellence 2012
To qualify for the Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travellers on TripAdvisor. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.
“Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort is delighted to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said Stuart Gow, Director at Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort. “We strive to offer our customers a memorable eco-resort experience, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive traveller reviews on TripAdvisor.”
TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional businesses for consistent excellence, as reviewed by travellers on the site,” said Christine Petersen, president of TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award gives highly rated establishments around the world the recognition they deserve. From exceptional accommodations in Beijing to remarkable restaurants in Boston, we want to applaud these businesses for offering TripAdvisor travellers a great customer experience.”

About Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort, is an eco adventure getaway offering you a fun and unique blend of cultural experiences and adventure activities in the environmentally pristine and remote island of Kadavu in the Fiji Islands. Matava – Fiji Premier Eco Adventure Resort is a PADI Dive 5 Star Resort as well as a Project AWARE GoEco Operator. Matava offers accommodation for up to 22 guests in lush tropical surroundings in traditional thatched Fijian ‘bures’ with hardwood polished floors, louvre windows and private decks offering privacy, comfort and superb ocean views

About TripAdvisor®

is the world’s largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 50 million unique monthly visitors*, and over 60 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to TripAdvisor’s millions of monthly visitors.
TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) manages and operates websites under 19 other travel media brands, and together the sites attract more than 69 million unique monthly visitors**. TripAdvisor’s travel media brands include www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.everytrail.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.onetime.com, www.seatguru.com,
www.sniqueaway.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travel-library.com, www.travelpod.com, www.virtualtourist.com, www.whereivebeen.com, and www.kuxun.cn.
*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, Worldwide, January 2012
**Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Inc. and its subsidiaries, Worldwide, January 2012
©2012 TripAdvisor, Inc. All rights reserved.
SOURCE TripAdvisor
###

 Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort earns 2012 Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence

May 11, 2012

The Bamboo Spa - a sanctuary on the island of Kadavu | Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco-Adventure Resort Matava - Fiji's Premier eco Adventure Resort is proud to have opened the first full service Pure Fiji Spa on the island of Kadavu.

The Bamboo Spa is the first and only full service Spa facility on Kadavu. We decided to partner with Pure Fijias our environmental policies and missions are so much in line.
We are proud to have Ms Channel Joy join our management team as our Spa Manager and Senior Beauty Therapist since opening. Chanel has been a professional in the spa industry in Fiji since the 1990's and was one of the designers and managers of the Pure Fiji Spa at Pure fiji;s headquarters in Fiji.


Matava Resort is proud to have installed this Spa purely using the alternative power already available at the resort. All water heating and lighting is supplied by purely solar systems. 


The Bamboo Spa

- a sanctuary on the island of Kadavu
Step lightly over the gateway to relaxation - a symbolic beginning to your journey through this oasis - leaving behind cares and the outside world as if on a far distant shore. Each guest's journey is unique... 

Chanel and client in the Frangipani Room
As part of our full body rituals, your path begins with another soothing experience rich with symbolic meaning - a warm foot soak in fragrant coconut milk bath... a welcoming and cleansing gesture which will leave you feeling serene.
Choose your path through this sanctuary, with a promising selection of natural treatments lovingly made with uniquely Fijian plant extracts - heavenly massages and wraps, miraculous facials, and the most luxurious of spa pedicures and manicures. 
Indulge your body with one of our unique signature treatments; experience all of our world-class facilities for a total spa escape and ritual.
With flowers freshly picked from the Resort's gardens and the exotic fragrances emanating from the spa’s entrance and hidden gardens you realise you’re in for a truly unique experience. The tranquil surroundings and discreet staff lend a sense of peace and harmony in balance with nature.  
Not only will skin and body be refreshed and revived - but every choice on this journey will leave your heart a little lighter, your spirit a little brighter until we at the Bamboo Spa welcome you once again.
The Bamboo Spa features the nourishing products of Pure Fiji.

Pure Fiji is committed to quality and embodies a passion for the beautiful people, traditions, and environments of Fiji.

Pure Fiji employs nearly 500 people from seven rural villages, a human network that produces cold pressed nut oils and natural packaging materials. Hand-made paper made from natural fibers, traditional masi bark cloth, woven baskets, and nut oil production provide these communities with sustainable income while perpetuating honored traditions and unique skills.

Pure coconut oil, the base ingredient for all of Pure Fiji's products, has been used for hair care, skin care, and massage for generations. Pure Fiji's natural bath and beauty products include luxurious body butter, hydrating body lotion, coconut sugar rub, shampoo and conditioner, coconut milk bath soak, and nourishing body oil.  


Pure Fiji

discover the south pacific secret for beautiful skin and hair

Pure Fiji
For centuries South Pacific and Fiji islanders have used pure coconut oil and flower extracts to nourish, moisturize and beautify both skin and hair. Pure Fiji brings you the best of these traditional blends for today's natural bath and body care. Discover intensive hydrating body oils, creamy coconut lotions, nourishing hand made soaps and fresh sugar scrubs that will get your skin glowing.

Protecting the Environment & Reducing our Carbon Footprint

Eco Packaging
Pure Fiji is committed to sustainable manufacturing and reducing its carbon footprint. Botanical ingredients such as the blend of nut oils are wild-harvested 
This reduces our requirement for energy dependent irrigation and fertilization methods thus limiting our carbon impact. Bottles used in packaging are PET which are an environmentally responsible choice as they require 24% less energy to produce and generate 40% less solid waste than glass bottles. Gift packaging is made by hand using natural fibers such as handmade paper or in delightful woven baskets.
What are we doing right now to improve conservation?

Eco-smart production

Sustainable Raw Materials

Botanical ingredients produced in Fiji are harvested sustainably without impact on the plants themselves or the surrounding environment.
Processing of several of the ingredients used in formulations rely on hand-operated cold pressing of nuts into oil. This limits the carbon impact on the environment while creating employment opportunities for rural communities.
Green EarthSome of the methods employed in processing the ingredients use a natural source of energy such as passive solar dryers. This eliminates the need to use bio-mass, electric resistance, or liquid fuel-fired heaters.
By-products from coconut husks and the shell material from oil bearing nuts are recycled as mulch and fertiliser.
The structures which support these enterprises are often made of local, environmentally low-impact materials such as plaited sago palm roofing. Such buildings are bright, airy, and cool, eliminating the need for artificial lighting or ventilating. Some suppliers of the processed botanicals minimise any environmental impact by running generators etc on natural, unrefined coconut oil.

Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, is an eco adventure getaway offering you a fun and unique blend of cultural experiences and adventure activities in the environmentally pristine and remote island of Kadavu in the Fiji Islands. Matava - Fiji Premier Eco Adventure Resort is a PADI Dive 5 Star Resort as well as a Project AWARE GoEco Operator.  Matava offers accommodation for up to 22 guests in lush tropical surroundings in traditional thatched Fijian 'bures' with hardwood polished floors, louvre windows and private decks offering privacy, comfort and superb ocean views.Follow us on TwitterFind us on Facebook


Pure Fiji is a natural bath and body products manufacturer which caters to the exclusive spa and salon industry. Founded 12 years ago by Gaëtane Austin and her daughter Andrée, Pure Fiji began research, development, and production of their uniquely Fijian products around the family kitchen table. Organics and natural products are popular now, but Pure Fiji has always appreciated the numerous benefits of coconut oil and the myriad of botanical and herbal curatives and remedies that have been utilized by the Fijian people for hundreds of years. Having pioneered the use of local nuts and botanical extracts into true South Pacific therapies, their spa located within the grounds of the factory premises serves as a invaluable research and development tool for both the products and the uniquely Pacific spa therapies which complement them. Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter


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The Bamboo Spa - a sanctuary on the island of Kadavu | Matava

Mar 31, 2012

Weather Situation at Matava, March 2012

A message to all friends and families of the Paradise Dive Group and other guests staying with us.
All of our guests are safe and well.
Many of our guests are attempting to contact their loved ones at home.
You may contact any of our guests via email at info@matava.com if you wish to call you may call on +679-603-0685.
We will continue to put up posts as information comes to hand.
The guests staying at the resort may be here for a couple of more days, depending on when flights can depart Nadi and land in Kadavu.
See also our Twitter feed and Facebook page for instant info.


Weather Situation at Matava, March 2012 | Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort:

BirdLife Pacific Invasive Species Programme

BirdLife Pacific Invasive Species Programme
A recent meeting in Auckland finalised project activities which include eradicating rodents (in French Polynesia, Palau, and the Cook Islands) and controlling pigs and deer (in New Caledonia) within areas of high conservation value.
The BirdLife Pacific Partnership has started a new four-year European Union funded regional Invasive Species programme which seeks to reduce the spread and the environmental and socio-economic impact of invasive alien species by supporting the eradication and control of invasive alien species and also enhancing biosecurity.
BirdLife Partners involved in the programme are Te Ipukerea Society (Cook Islands), Palau Conservation SocietyNatureFiji-MareqetiVitiO Le Si’osi’omaga Society Inc. (Samoa), Société d’Ornithologie de Polynésie (French Polynesia) and Société Calédonienne d’Ornithologie (New Caledonia).
The Programme is also supported by a Technical Advisory Group which recently met in Auckland and includes the Pacific Invasives Initiative (PII), the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, University of the South Pacific, NZ Landcare Research and the NZ Department of Conservation.
The meeting finalised project activities which include eradicating rodents (in French Polynesia, Palau, and the Cook Islands) and controlling pigs and deer (in New Caledonia) within areas of high conservation value. In Fiji the programme will develop biosecurity models targeting the non-native American Iguana, mongoose and the Brown Tree Snake.
The meeting also identified the capacity, research, and monitoring needs for the programme. Among the research opportunities include support for a post graduate student to examine the social, economic and or biological impact of managing invasive alien species or related element of the programme.
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BirdLife Pacific Invasive Species Programme

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