The community of Ifira island in Port Vila harbor have placed Namele leaves, the traditional ban, along the foreshore of the custom marine boundary of the island, whose people are custom land owners of much of the land on which the Vanuatu capital, Port Vila, is located.
The community members all came together and placed the namele leaves signifying the tabu or bans at different intervals along the entire foreshow of their coastline starting at La Colle Rive at Prima all the way to Dream Cove towards Pango Point.
Areas such as Blacksands, Malapoa Point, Kawenu Cove, Tebakor, Melcoffee, Fatumaru Bay, Port Vila Harbor, Nambatu, Government Wharf, main wharf and Worauloa Point are all inside the Ifira foreshow custom land boundary in which namele leaves have been placed to show the ban in place.
Ifira Marine Management (IMM), a subsidiary of Ifira Trustees Limited (ITL) has imposed the ban on its new Ifira Community Conservation Area (CCA), stretching from Prime at La Colle River all the way to Dream Cove beyond Ifira and on the mainland.
The ban became effective on April 3, on all fishing inside the CCA. It also sand and coral mining except for custom owner’s privilege. Crabs are not allowed to be collected along the coast and in the area mapped out as CCA. Harvesting and or cutting down of trees along the coast is also banned.
All forms of waste are not allowed to be dumped in any manner into the sea. All forms of fisbing activities are also banned in CCA. Fishing for all vertebrates including shell fish are banned except where allowed by alternative means through manageable method of accumulation.
All recreational activities within Port Vila Bay will be charged an access free and money raised from this will go toward implementing activities stated in the Ifira Marine Management Plan, which will be registered un the Environment Protection and Conservation Act (CAP 283) in the coming weeks.
Any offshore developments will have to obtain the exclusive rights from IMM to proceed.
Any breaches will result in offences and fines.
“If anyone is found in breach of these management rules, they will be charged with an on the spot fine of Vt400,000. If this fine amount or access fee is not paid within a period of two weeks, legal proceeding will begin according to the Environmental Protection and Conservation Act No. 12 CAP 282,” the section of the IMarine Management Plan on offences and fines reads.
The paramount chief of Ifira, Teriki Paunimanu Mantoi Kalsakau III and his Council and the IMM Committee are calling on the Chiefs of the communities living in the areas mentioned above to help educate the people under their charge to respect the requirements of the Ifira Community Conservation Area.
The attention of the chiefs and people in the communities living on Ifira land — around the community conservation area is being drawn to this development. These are Malapoa, Malapoa Whitewood, Tebakor, Blacksands, Man Ples, Four Corners SDA Church, Ifira, Freswota, Beverley Hills, Namburou, Ohlen, Seven Star, Tagabe, Bladiniare, Salili, are being asked to respect the conservation area.