Conservation & Sustainability
We live and operate in a pristine but fragile ecosystem that traverses both sea and land. As a Resort company operating in such a pristine sensitive environment we support wholly the concept of sustainable tourism and believe that any development in such areas carries not only a legal but also a moral responsibility to ensure that the environment is not degraded through irresponsible activities and practices.
Sustainable tourism is also about the people and the culture. It is about providing opportunities for improving and helping island communities and individuals through the development of businesses that provide jobs, training and on going development without compromising or taking advantage of the culture or the people involved.
Ahura Resorts is an equal opportunity employer. We are a family business, 100% Fijian owned and have strong personal ties with the land, the sea and the people of Fiji. Our Resorts are built on land that has a 99-year lease. Royalties are paid to the Landowners as well as a monthly rental calculated on a percentage of all sales. Ahura also provides an education Fund for the landowners. Flora and Fauna Environmental Initiatives include:
- We are active members of the Mamanuca Environment Society (MES) providing on going training and education to resort staff, guests and the village people in the preservation and caring for the environment. MES is also involved in projects including Turtle conservation, coral transplanting, crown of Thorns eradication and water quality monitoring.
- In July 2005 the late Paramount Cheif of the Mamanuca Islands “Na Tui Lawa” declared the waters and reefs in front of Likuliku Lagoon a Marine Reserve or “Na Tabu”. This is an environmental initiative in partnership with the landowners to improve fish stocks and species and allow natural regeneration of reef and marine life as part of responsible sustainable tourism. The “Na Tabu” means that any form of fishing or shell and coral collecting is strictly forbidden and this applies to locals and visitors alike.
- Dry Forest Regeneration Program. The islands of Fiji are home to the Dry Forest. After years and years of being cut down for buildings and firewood and agricultural reasons, the Dry Forest is now considered one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. Once, all the island of the Mamanucas were covered in Dry Forest. Today only remnants of this ecosystem remain in small isolated pockets. Apart from the loss of the vegetation the Dry Forests are also home to a variety of animals who have also been affected with some on the critical endangered list and some extinct. These include the Fijian Green Crested Iguana (Brachylophus Vitiensis), Bolo snakes and Pacific boas. The forests are also home to Ogea Monarchs, Collared Lorikeets and Fiji Parrot Finches. Two birds that are now extinct are the Whistling Tree Duck and the Grass Owl. Working with the Fiji Ministry of Forestry, a planting program has been set up to replenish affected areas on Likuliku Lagoon and Malolo Island lease with Dry Forest species and remove any introduced species or species that prohibit or limit the development and growth of the Dry forest eco system.
- Fiji Crested Iguana Program. Following the rare discovery of two juvenile Fijian Crested iguana (Brachylophus Vitiensis) on the resorts early 2011 and another one 10 months later we now work closely with Kula Eco Park of Fiji and associates from Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia and San Diego Zoo in California USA, who have already visited the island to undertake night surveys and also take DNA samples from our iguanas. This is an amazing discovery as this species is on the endangered critical list (ICUN) 2006). Finding these juveniles clearly indicates the presence of adult population who reside in the treetops of the remaining Dry Forest species that surround both resorts. Mating season is from March through to April. They have the longest incubation period of any iguana with eggs taking up to 9 months to hatch. On average a clutch of 4 white leathery eggs are laid in soft earth. The female stays in close proximity to her eggs during incubation. With the research that has been undertaken, it is evident that the sharp decline of the Iguana in Fiji is due to several factors. Loss of vegetation and natural habitat, introduction of cats and goats to the islands. Our Iguana program now incorporates a Dry Forest regeneration program and the monitoring and eradication of feral cats. We hope that with further discoveries we will start our own breeding program which will enable us to systematically release them back into their natural habitat.
Operational environmental practices are now part of everyday resort life with ongoing commitments to the preservation of Flora and Fauna, the land and the archaeological sites including regenerative and recycling measures such as:
- Regular inspections by Environmental Engineers and specialists to ensure standards are being met
- On going review, revision and evaluation of new alternative power sources including solar panels and wind alternatives
- Use of energy efficient light globes throughout the Resort
- Use of environmentally friendly cleaning products in the laundry and around the Resort
- Bio Cycle sewage treatment plant using natural processing of waste material and low power.
- Sub surface irrigation systems utilizing treated water from the bio cycle system
- Water desalination plant
- Waste removal program that sees all rubbish transported off the resort to the mainland for disposal
- Elimination of resort run off entering the sea
- Regular on going training and education of staff on environmental practices
Ahura Resorts contributes to the wider community through working with the Koroipita Housing Project, the Roy Whitton Orthopaedic Foundation and the Cancer Association.