This year, The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Vanuatu Campus collaborated with other institutions to commemorate World Environment Day which is commemorated on 5 June.
A full-week activity programme was planned in partnership with the Francophone University Agency (AUF), the National University of Vanuatu (NUV), and the Department of Environmental Protection and Conservation (DEPC) Vanuatu Cycling Federation and Erakor Community.
On the first day, USP Research Community Officer Mr Morris Harrison spoke at NUV about the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building (PacRES) project and the significance of safeguarding our water sources.
On 7 June, Emalus Campus hosted a presentation by Prof. Pascal Michon, NUV Deputy Vice-Chancellor, on the ecosystems of the human body and the importance of keeping them free from pollutants such as Bisphenol A or High Fructose Corn Syrup.
A tree-planting ceremony followed the presentation in front of the Emalus Campus Library. Ten seedlings of Pelagodoxa henryana, an endemic palm from the northern Torba province of Vanuatu, were donated by the Department of Forestry through the PacRES project.
On 8 June, 15 students from USP and 15 from NUV went on a field trip to the PacRES conservation sites at Tagabe river and Blacksands coastline, where they could try their hand at planting mangroves and vetiver grass.
On 9 June, staff and students were invited to clean up in the vicinity of the campus. In just one hour, walking 1 km from the campus and back, 20 participants collected 11 bags of rubbish.
Campus Manager, Mr Ruben Markward said he hopes this will become a regular activity. Participants then enjoyed well-deserved refreshments organised by the Micronesian Law Students Association branch of the Emalus Student Association and received T-shirts sponsored by AUF.
On the last day, students from USP and NUV went on a field trip to Erakor Bridge Community, where they could see innovative gardens and upcycling practices and talk about lagoon restoration efforts and plans.