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The Project

The Forest
The Loru REDD+ project protects 166 ha of tropical rainforest on eastern Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu. It conserves habitat for the critically endangered Vanuatu Megapode bird (Megapodius freycinet layardi), and the Coconut Crab (Birgus latro). The site is also home to several endemic birds including the Vanuatu Kingfisher (Todiramphus farquhari), the Vanuatu Flycatcher (Neolalage banksiana), the Vanuatu Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus tannensis), the Vanuatu White-eye (Sosterops flavifrons), the Santo Mountain Starling (Aplonis santovestris), the Vanuatu Imperial Pigeon (Ducula bakeri), and the Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis). This rainforest also provides valuable protection from cyclones, floods and droughts for the Loru local people.

Further benefits arise from the prevention of sediment run-off. When trees are harvested, soil is carried in streams and rivers. The resulting murky water makes the survival of many marine organisms difficult. Furthermore animals and the population of Loru depend on the resources a healthy reef provides.

Furthermore, the Loru Forest Project is partly financed by income generated from agroforestry - particularly from the sale of the Melanesian Chestnut (Canarium indium).

The people
This project is owned by the Serkar Clan of indigenous ni-Vanuatu landowners at Loru, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu. The clan consists of five extended families of some 50 individuals descended from Chief Serkar (1913-1997).

These landowners have given up rights to land clearance for coconut plantations in exchange for the opportunity to sell rainforest carbon offsets. In that way revenue for local economic development can be generated. Support for governance, management and capacity building for community enterprises is also provided. In that way, local landowners are assisted in managing this rainforest conservation project and develop spin-off community businesses - the first of which is a production of agroforestry produce (e.g. Canarium nuts) from adjacent lands owned and managed by the people participating in in this project.

Project developer: Ekos New Zealand

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