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World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 4 Global View

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now

Continued; Part 4

World Team Follows Fiji’s Lead

World Team follows Fiji’s lead in the Pacific Island Region as we journey through Eco resorts, transforming islands. Recent catastrophic events have put the spotlight on the vulnerability of islands to the forces of climate change and the world is taking notice. As World Team Now’s increasing focus is on islands and we write about their transformation and simultaneously work to chart a future, this blog becomes more relevant. Many islands are now facing a dynamic similar to what Fiji and other islands have already gone through— in the recent past, for example, four hurricanes have hit island regions in the United States territories and beyond. To re-develop these islands, in the same way, invites a repetition of earlier flaws in infrastructure development, especially considering the increased risks due to climate change. Instead, there is an opportunity in the midst of the crises to make different choices about how to restructure, a chance to evolve and learn from the past. In the process of restoration, Fiji’s leading Eco approach is of value to observe, including their different choices about energy ownership. The use and allowance of community renewable energy microgrids, and how to collectively give aid to one another is worth consideration. Together, let’s look at some islands resorts of Fiji.

Please read the first paragraphs in Part 1 for the context of this blog within the series.

Koro Sun Resort

Birds Eye Point of View of Koro Sun Resort  Vanua Levu, Fiji © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

 

Floating Bures © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

Koro Sun Resort’s 160-acre sanctuary on the island of Vanua Levu is a sprawling property that covers a campus of acres prominent in its attention to horticulture and landscape design that integrates with cutting-edge architecture. The various sections of the resort’s premises are incredibly diverse and are like worlds of their own. There are the rainforest lodge and spa, as well as the first Fijian floating Bures that allow guests to stay on the lagoon, literally sleeping on the ocean. In the floating ocean Edgewater Bures, ocean architect Joe Nelson’s design allows guests to dive from their deck into the water, like from an anchored yacht.  The lessons learned from TC Winston are giving Joe Nelson a powerful advantage in design, architecture, and how to build with the ocean, for islands.  He is a leading pioneer for renewable energy on islands.  The renewable energy path, and allow an island advantage.

The various sections of the resort’s premises are like worlds of their own, and incredibly diverse. There are the rainforest lodge and spa, a pristine waterfall lake, an underwater pearl farm, and the extraordinary reefs and nearby tiny islands.

 

Verdant Lawn © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

A walk to the other end of the resort brings you through exquisite ponds with floating lotus flowers that are reminiscent of Claude Monet’s garden paintings and landscapes, and the trees, plants, and flowers create a utopian environment that stretches the imagination. One of the luxuries Koro Sun offers is the coveted private outdoor shower, enclosed and surrounded by tropical flowering plants, and with over 50 guest rooms and villas, Koro Sun Resort is the ideal environment for large groups on retreat.

 

 

Water Lily Pond © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

Water Lily Pond © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

The all-natural eco foot massage, including native botanical scrub, is one of the coveted Koro Sun Rainforest Spa treatments that leaves guests feeling as though they are walking on water with flower essence surrounding them. The clear water lagoon is ideal for such ocean activities as kayaking and swimming, and the infinity pool that flows over the ocean has a tranquil scope of the vast ocean and reef systems beyond.

The Infinity pool, the ocean, and the sky are endless. © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa Nadi  & The Holiday Inn Suva

Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa© Photo By Suzanne Maxx

There are two staple places on each side of Fiji’s Viti Levu, en route to Eco Resorts while the traveler is adjusting to dramatic time zone shifts and jet lag coming from the USA, and these provide a solid ground to catch your breath before getting into the Eco Adventure.

The Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa in Nadi on Denarau Island is close to Fiji’s only international airport in Nadi. This destination resort goes beyond the usual franchise model into island luxury and delicacies that add creature comforts.At the Hilton, guests can have a massage by the ocean or the pool and choose from many treatments at their award-winning Pevonia concept spa.

Dinner at Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

Luxury villas and suites include a kitchen, BBQ on the ocean side deck, and a washer and dryer which saves money and makes long-term travel more sustainable.

The Hilton has various stores with healthy items, an island tropical gourmet Deli, and a full kitchen and laundry option in the condo that saves economically. The recycling program is a leader, as the recycling programs in Nadi are relatively new. There are some fabulous restaurants onsite at the Hilton destination resort that have locally sourced native-grown farm-to-table food, natively called; “Kana-Mai-Na-Were.”

The Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa in Nadi on Denarau Island © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

The Holiday Inn Suva Fiji is in the capital’s government and business hub. This Holiday Inn has a 24/7 business center, a lobby that remains the center of networking for the Suva area, and the buffet that offers a plethora of choices including Fijian favorites

Each of these places goes beyond the usual franchise business model into island luxury and delicacies that add creature comforts, including some eco-amenities like solar hot water heaters and recycling.

At both places, you can expect onsite fine dining, networking opportunities, solid Internet connection, and TV, along with otherworldly developed creature comforts that help to accommodate the transition into living the Fiji sustainability dream and then going back to the commercially developed world.

 

The Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa in Nadi on Denarau Island © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

 

Aviation and Transformation Taking Flight

Sunflower Aviation offers the Waya discovery sector trip where you fly over the heart-shaped island Tavarua, a surfing paradise. Photo by Sunflower Airways

Of all Fiji’s treasures, the most valuable may be the welcoming character and the loving nature of the Fijian people and culture, and even industries, such as Fiji Airlines, welcome visitors in a big way.

For inter-island transportation, in addition to Fiji Airlines and Turtle Airways, there is the Pacific Flying School where skydiving and learning to fly a plane are options. Sunflower Aviation can support the exploration to find your special island in Fiji for an eco-adventure. Its owners, Tim Joyce and his wife Susan, who have more than 30 years aviation experience, own three other companies: Heli-Tours Fiji, Skydive Fiji, and Adventure Sailing, Fiji. Tim graciously took us under his wing, hosting, while in Fiji. He is sympathetic World Team’s vision and mission and is involved with humanitarian efforts using flight for aid. We are excited to have the opportunity to work with his company. Tim and his company’s shooting star was shining brightly from skydiving over the Fiji 7’s Olympic WIN!

Fiji’s Eco Resorts demonstrate more than the imaginative blending of ecology and economy, beyond the small islands’ welcoming expression Bula!  Fiji might lead a path to a green economy, in the execution of the long-term plan with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Green and Blue Bonds, and can potentially be a winning formula for an economic basis to live in better balance with nature.

Fiji is in an active leadership position to advance national-level goals that ideally would help meet the UN’s Global Goals, called the Sustainable Development Goals. Fiji needs more governments to support the climate initiative, but this is an all hands on deck time for our world and every sector‘s participation is needed to carve out not just a sustainably developed future, but a renewed and transformed future.

© Photo By Suzanne Maxx © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

In Bonn, Germany @COP23 Bonn, in November, negotiations continue on a set of rules for the Paris Agreement, which took effect last year.  Fiji is in charge of leading the organization of this UNFCC event. From the Government of Fiji Minister Inia Seruiratu shared about the campaign Unite4Climate.  The coming of age of the annual youth conference COY13 foreshadows UNFCC COP23in Bonn Germany. After COP23 Civil Society will gather in Suva, Fiji for action. Our World Team project plans to give more people the opportunity to participate, at this important time.

Inia Seruiratu, Uniting 4 Climate SDG Media Zone 21 Sept 2017

Inia Video 1  Uniting 4 Climate, SDG Media Zone (18-22 September 2017)
21 Sep 2017 –  Speakers: Mr. Inia Seruiratu, (Minister of Agriculture, Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Fiji (Climate Champion)), Ms. Ingrid Hoven, (Director-General, Global Issues—Sector Policies and Programmes at the Federal Ministry Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)), Mr. Francesco La Camera, (Director General of the Ministry of Environment, Italy)
Moderator: Mr. Max Edkins, (Climate Change Expert, World Bank)

Inia Seruiratu, , Global Climate Action Agenda (Climate Champions), SDG Media Zone 21 Sept 2017

Inia video 2 Global Climate Action Agenda (Climate Champions), SDG Media Zone (18-22 September 2017)
21 Sep 2017 –  Speakers: Mr. Inia Seruiratu, (Minister of Agriculture, Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Fiji (Climate Champion)), Mr. Feike Sijbesma, (World Bank Climate Champion)
Moderator: Mr. John Roome, Senior Director, Climate Change, World Bank.

 

Fiji’s Prime Minister Jorge Frank Bainimarama addressing the United Nations Climate Change Conference

“Our Presidency will keep the interests of all nations, including those that are low-lying and vulnerable, at the forefront of our negotiations,” said Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

Bainimarama said he will highlight the risks faced by low-lying countries in a warming world.

We considered that the developed future may look different to those people living cradle-to-cradle with natural systems, such as witnessed with the Pacific Islanders in Fiji (and Samoa—watch for our upcoming blog). The burden of the developed nations of the world that contributes to anthropogenic climate change (human-induced climate change), has a debt to pay to this region.  There is also a history of nuclear testing on another’s land and ocean region in the Pacific Islands, Our World Team project aims to do our part in balancing resources and demonstrating transformation.  We believe it is possible to have a more balanced world that promotes equality among all living in our common home.

Arrangement of local flowers © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

We were surprised to find such a welcome Home in Fiji! We discovered a path for our World Team project to live into our renewable vision in the Pacific Islands. With our eyes set on the year 2020, we can clearly see how our World Team project might unfold to support the future of our common home by demonstrating solutions. The solutions demonstrated in the World Team media platform and in their subsequent developing projects can be a tool not just for the United Nations in realizing the Global Goals by the target year of 2030, but for all people. How can humanity live in better balance with one another and our resources?

Our World Team project plans to demonstrate an inspirational answer with our island projects.  Yet it is not just for islands to answer. Through the transformation of the old, and demonstration of new and alternative systems we may better discover how humanity lives in balance with nature on this planet. In Fiji, World Team sees the opportunity to demonstrate a vision of transformation, one village or island at a time.  A possible vision for humanity’s future generations, and on earth through time.

This would not just be a chance to give back, but would also be a chance to learn from the indigenous approaches of the Pacific Islanders and create a way, with World Team, to affect and live out these interconnected 17 goals. We discovered that the prioritization of values, choosing to live close to nature, matches ours within the World Team project, and indeed it is through the people where change can happen powerfully. I can trace my Call to back beyond the World Team project, and beyond my early youth, but here is where my action that began when I was 10 years old, read more here.  It has been wonderful to watch the YOUNGO grow the youth movement to aid the social and environmental change, since back in Copenhagen at COP15.

Youth in the Lead: A conversation with the young people changing global policy, SDG Media Zone 19 Sept 2017

Youth in the Lead: A conversation with the young people changing global policy, SDG Media Zone (18-22 September 2017)19 Sep 2017 – Speakers: Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, (UN Envoy on Youth), Ms. Hon. Bogolo Kenewendo, (Member of Parliament of Botswana), Ms. Sebastian Kurz, (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Austria)

Youth in the Lead: A conversation with the young people changing global policy, SDG Media Zone 19 Sept 2017

Youth in the Lead: A conversation with the young people changing global policy, SDG Media Zone (18-22 September 2017) 19 Sep 2017 – Speakers: Riley Claremont, College of Charleston, Veronique Hutt, College of Charleston, Abby Grand, College of CharlestonModerator: Ms. Paulina Kubiak/DPI

As the youth both lead the way forward and simultaneously learn from the elders, so too might the Small Island States better prioritize a path forward for the developed world. Fiji raises hope for our common resources that we will all be inspired to play to transform the world and at least demonstrate the possibilities for large ocean island states. Fiji just might win a high quality of life with its immeasurable ecological and economic benefits for all people and our common home.

Solutions Hour – Voluntary Commitment & Announcements — SDG Media Zone, The Ocean Conference 8 June 2017

We are excited to have the opportunity to work in the Pacific Island Region, as we have begun to with Fiji. Islands are our Call, (Islands R’ US, the campaign has begun) and we are enthusiastic about what can be accomplished coming together with and for islands. With Fiji leading the United Nations COP23, and our incipient feet-on-the-ground actions in the upcoming period of time, we are embracing transformation.  As with all crisis, there is also the opportunity.

 

 

 

Summary of World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Posts

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads from the Pacific Islands Part 1 Turtle Island ©

By Suzanne Maxx © The Pacific Island Region seemed to call, and last year I went on an adventure to ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 2 Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Fiji Part 2 Travel to the Yasawa Islands to... Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort Leading the ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 3 JMC

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Continued; Part 3 Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort So too, our love for the ocean is ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 4 Global View

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Continued; Part 4 Koro Sun Resort Koro Sun Resort’s 160-acre sanctuary on the island ...
Read More

#Fiji #PacificIslands, #Jean-MichelCousteauResort, #ECOresorts, #WorldTeam, #SOS-IS #Uniting4Climate @Connect4Climate @COP23, #UN #SDG#14 #Jean-MichelCousteau, #FabienCousteau, 

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 3 JMC

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now

 

Continued; Part 3

World Team Follows Fiji’s Lead

World Team follows Fiji’s lead in the Pacific Island Region as we journey through Eco resorts, transforming islands. Recent catastrophic events have put the spotlight on the vulnerability of islands to the forces of climate change and the world is taking notice. As World Team Now’s increasing focus is on islands and we write about their transformation and simultaneously work to chart a future, this blog becomes more relevant. Many islands are now facing a dynamic similar to what Fiji and other islands have already gone through— in the recent past, for example, four hurricanes have hit island regions in the United States territories and beyond. To re-develop these islands, in the same way, invites a repetition of earlier flaws in infrastructure development, especially considering the increased risks due to climate change. Instead, there is an opportunity in the midst of the crises to make different choices about how to restructure, a chance to evolve and learn from the past. In the process of restoration, Fiji’s leading Eco approach is of value to observe, including their different choices about energy ownership. The use and allowance of community renewable energy microgrids, and how to collectively give aid to one another is worth consideration. Together, let’s look at some islands resorts of Fiji.

Please read the first paragraphs in Part 1 for the context of this blog within the series.

 

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

So too, our love for the ocean is individual and our work with the dolphins and floating in the ocean is a personal expression, eyes around the world have been opened to the world within the ocean, due to the gifts that Jacque Yves Cousteau passed forward. There are sweet memories of how Jacque Cousteau inspired us with his words and actions at the U.N. ‘s Earth Summit and Global Forum in Rio in 1992, three years into the journey of the World Team.

The grand reopening of the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort (JMC), in Savusavu on the island of Vanua Levu, continues the legacy of ocean exploration that lives on for the whole Cousteau family, with educational programs and experiential activities related to everything that has to do with the ocean. Like sea glass that is tossed in the ocean’s current to become more luminescent and smooth over time, the resort’s transformation mirrors the fabulous recovery after the Category 5 cyclone, TC Winston. The JMC bears the Cousteau name, now an iconic brand for ocean exploration and education, thanks to Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the Marine Biologist, Diver and Explorer, being a true pioneer for the oceans and all species that make the ocean their home.

The ocean philosophy of the Cousteaus,  comes alive here at the resort, passing the love of the ocean forward to future generations. The Jacques Yves Cousteau  said, “People protect what they love.” This resort and its programs help continue the legacy of giving back experientially, as Jacques Cousteau’s philosophy is more than mere words; “When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.” The experiential educator Jacques Cousteau not only passed down his passion and love of the ocean to Jean-Michel Cousteau (his son) with his non-profit Ocean Futures Society, but his living legacy continues to inspire the next generation of The Cousteau Ocean Legacy. Each Cousteau family member contributes, with a diversity of personalities to express their love of the ocean.

“It takes generosity to discover the whole through others. If you realize you are only a violin, you can open yourself up to the world by playing your role in the concert” –Jacques Cousteau

Down to the next generation, to Aquanaut Fabien Cousteau, JMC’s  his grandson, who now carries exploration to new depths with the newly launched Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center. Fabien continues his stand for the ocean as he champions sharks, and most recently broke his Grandfather’s world record, staying underwater for 31 days. World Team Now applauds the  Cousteaus’ collective vision, for us each to use our lives, with the gifts we each have, to leave a legacy that embraces, each person, species and what can be contributed to the oceans and our common home.  Jean-Michel too has done that and passed it forward. World Team Now aligns with Fabien Cousteau’s approach to ocean education and gave him the “Pioneer for the Planet” award for what he is envisioning now.

Fabien Cousteau

Celine Cousteau, Jean Michel’s daughter, is also doing her part to expand the family legacy with Cause Films and preservation of species on the land and under the water. Her works range from indigenous tribes in the Amazon to exploring possibilities on Easter Island. The legacy of the whole family continues passing forward a wealth of knowledge that has wisdom for us all. The extended Cousteau inspires family’s efforts altogether support our message; that there is a place for everyone.

The Cousteau lineage comes with political will that is a timeless call for the oceans, and humanity’s role in living with what dominates our planet. Cousteau’s stand was successful in influencing two USA Presidents, of different political parties, both to see the value of the ocean and to take action to designate, first, a 1,200-mile chain of Northwest Hawaiian Islands a Marine National Monument, and now, through President Obama, a four-times-expanded protected area of the ocean. Even the adjacent area around the JMC in Fiji has now become a Marine preserve and the Cousteau team is working to create more marine protected areas that will hopefully remain for future generations.  Here is a chance to  Explore the Pacific Island Marine Sanctuaries with Jean-Michel Cousteau (his most recent book),

In Fiji and other areas of the tropical Pacific, many villages have established marine protected areas where, in order to ensure a healthy ecosystem, the local residents don’t allow fishing. Enforcing the ban on fishing depends on community support for protecting the reefs, which are part of the local culture and can provide economic benefits through tourism and spillover of fish to the areas where harvesting is allowed.

At the Jean-Michel Cousteau (JMC) Resort, there is an ocean experience or program for every age.  The JMC rides on the legend of passing the ocean wisdom of stewardship to all in the family, to explore, teach, research, and inspire others with ocean adventures, also in the luxury resort setting. Cousteau’s mastery in passing forward an underwater experience through television, film, and every source of presentation imaginable continues as the heart of the experiential education and woven through the resort experience.

While there, you can go for one of the extraordinary scuba dive adventures. More advanced divers can get their Dive Certification from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, some of the best scuba pros in the world. Leading ecological tourism, Jean-Michel Cousteau created L’Aventure, a flagship dive operation at the ocean side Fiji resort. A leading eco-advantage at the JMC is the resident marine biologist Johnny Singh, who does more than lead incredible scuba diving and snorkel adventures. In the evenings, he gives an educational slide show with topics that range from “Coral Reefs” to “Shark’s Biodiversity.” There are over a dozen dive sites to choose from, and one of the top ten dive locations in the world is Namena Island Reserve, an uninhabited protected area with a fish and bird sanctuary. On a Namena dive, there are fabulous opportunities to see larger species, including reef, white, and black tooth sharks, tuna, barracuda, and stingrays, plus hard and soft coral, which all add up to make this a world-class dive site.

The JMC leads with their numerous ocean programs, for youth and adults alike; diving adventures that now go beyond bringing back a wealth of information pass on stewardship of the ocean to inspire the next generation of aquanauts.

The region is full of beautiful tropical birds that are making a comeback. In the protected Namena Island Bird Sanctuary, you can spot the threatened Red-Footed Booby. These birds can dive up to almost 100 ft. to catch their ocean prey.

The Cousteau team is working to have more marine protected areas. Recently, the Nukubalavu Marine Reserve was formed for the next 20 years from a local initiative. Johnny Singh shared, “I’ve seen a lot of change in the last ten years, but I still see in October the southern Humpback and Sperm Whales which migrate from Australia—they are breeding and calving—and the Silver Spinner Dolphins can be found breaching year around.”  Johnny explained that since 2002, with the Marine Protected Areas, the community fights to restock the reefs and repopulate fish. The Ministry of Fisheries has helped the comeback and Dr. Richard Murphy from Ocean Futures Foundation has been another knowledgeable source for their program.

Marine Biologist Johnny Singh © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

The lessons learned help JMC build a sustainable destination resort with systems that bio mimic nature, and use nature for balance. They use natural plants for pesticide control, which is a leading approach among Eco Resorts. The wastewater filtration system is designed to create a biodiverse natural pond and wetlands environment for natural self-cleaning. The drinking water comes from the village and uses four stages of advanced filtration, and ultraviolet light for purification. The Medicine Walk continues the legacy of Niumaia Kavika, a famous medicine man who worked there to pass on a wealth of knowledge about the use of local plants for their healing and beneficial properties.

Plants are key and the Mangrove Reforestation program works with the seeding and tagging to restore the ecosystems and prevent further coastal erosion. The Coral and Giant Clam Farms are two initiatives that support eco goals too. The coral fragments are collected, regrown, and replanted on reefs. The Giant Clam Farm protects the growing years of the clam in the ocean by re-planting them in protected areas to husband their aging. Giant clams live beyond 100 years, can weigh over 500 lbs. and are overharvested—being a sought-after delicacy has made them increasingly scarce.

There is a lot to take away from this Eco Resort about life’s systems, with age-appropriate experiential learning, which lives throughout all the fun ocean programs of the Cousteau family. The resort makes interactive marine biology accessible to all people of all ages, with programs for Adults, Bula, Teens, and 6–12-years groups. A Mama is customarily assigned to every child guest under the age of five years, for free, and families are well catered to beyond what they learn. At the JMC, all can be pampered, and learn about the ocean.

Organic Garden at JMC Resort © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

One thing that helps make JMC unique is Navia Navia, a private island that offers guests exclusivity and privacy, and can be rented for various amounts of time in order to spend sacred alone time in paradise with the one you love. The food at Cousteau is something to write home about. Fifteen years and growing, the organic gardens offer fresh local island vegetables, tropical fruit, edible flowers, and herbs growing on the two acres that are surrounded by island flowers and play areas. Both Fijian style farm- and sea-to-table make for pure culinary heaven, with a global influence. The organic garden is a rarity among resorts in the Fiji Islands, which gives JMC a healthy-body ecology lead.  The culinary options are exquisite and scrumptious, with some of the best Asia-fused Pacific fare influenced by the talented Executive Chef, Raymond Lee. Chef Lee supervises the traditional Fijian “Lovo” feast celebrated every week at the resort, with delicacies cooked in the fire pit by hot embers covered with banana leaves. Lee offers a Junior Chef program where youths can harvest the plants for meals and learn about the cradle-to-cradle systems, including composting. The garden and children’s play area is a lovely venue to spend time in and around, with programs to support the growth of all.

Spa Bed © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

The JMC spa massage treatments follow suit, with all-natural and locally harvested coconut oil, gifted therapist hands, native Fijian plant essences, and the Bobo massage.

Eco is incorporated, along with luxury, in all the systems at the Cousteau Resort, in the Oceanside bungalow Bures that are replete with LED lights, solar on-demand hot water, and all the cushy comforts, such as a hammock and huge bath that are needed to thoroughly enjoy island life. Throughout the resort, efficiency is integrated with lighting motion sensors or timers on equipment, and the resort has a comprehensive recycling program.  Read more about the sustainability efforts here.

Wedding © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

The Cousteau Resort is an ideal place to get married. There are many romantic wedding packages to choose from in an extraordinary setting, and it becomes more economical combining the honeymoon and wedding together at the same venue, with many wonderful activities that can add to the beginning of a loving lifelong adventure, including local fishing, touring in a glass bottom boat, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, sailing, volleyball, tennis, kayaking, eco-touring, medicine walking, and Fijian storytelling.

The JMC and the local village Nukubalavu balance the tourism industry that supports the local economy by employing villagers, and by having the charity Savusavu Foundation for the village support one another. In Nukubalavu we found; family.  Most of the village of Nukubalavu is the driving workforce at the Jean-Michael Cousteau Resort. Guests staying at JMC get to visit the village and see the culture and extraordinary dance. One family from the village of Nukubalavu was instrumental in World Team’s entire journey with Fiji (soon we will share more about the extraordinary people that helped make the journey to Fiji next, but a special shout out to Iowane Ritova and Andrea Fono).  I was welcomed to stay in the village and shared a Fijian feast of native delights.  I learned of the village’s needs, for water, sanitation, renewable energy, and saw the opportunity for a future project for World Team Now. I met with the local Ratu in the village and shared Kava. We are thankful to the villagers, especially Iowane Rivota who has become a World Team member and has been active in supporting and sharing  WTN’s efforts in Fiji.  World Team Now gained another partner in the Village of Nukubalavu in our UN Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Sustainable Solutions Oceans Opportunities on Small Island States (SOS-IS).

A hermit crab race is a regular fundraiser event for the Savusavu Foundation striving to give back to the community through various efforts, including raising funds to help build a kindergarten teamwork is needed as all of the villages hard hit by TC Winston can still use support.

The staff at the JMC that keeps the native Fiji Bula genuine comes primarily from the nearby villages of Nukubalavu who live out the Fijian legend of consideration and love of others and bend over backward to make sure every child, adult, and mangrove, is respected and cared for in this Fijian island experience.

A population of 200 village staff work at the JMC. General Manager Bart Simpson explained, “Half of the villagers had lost their homes in the two tidal waves from TC Winston.” A local villager was running for higher ground as fast as he could and confessed, “By God, I think I’m going to die, my house is following me,” because it was being carried by sea 10 meters away from him.

The Cousteau architectural philosophy includes a lineage of interest to build with the ocean, which is the challenge these islands face at this time. To resist the temptation of a rock wall, and move up away from the sea to reclaim land is a challenge. Once the land is underwater there is a question about boundaries. Adjacent Boundaries of National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) is indeed a United Nations conversation about a sustainable future in a process for large ocean states like Fiji.  There is a sustainable energy vision for the 25 Bures on the 17 acres at JMC, and future generations of staff, their kids or grandchildren, continue the legacy. “The Ocean is reclaiming land every year” explained Bart Simpson, the Resort’s Manager, who has noticed a change in the eight years since he arrived. Bart said, “Moving towards ecology affected by climate change and sea level rise, we have been losing land in a short timeline… True to traditional Fijian culture, the JMC strives to be sustainable, and multi-cultural.” The Cousteau family’s commitment to the ocean is to demonstrate innovative solutions, educate, and be stewards for all the species that find a home in the ocean.

Savusavu art © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

The Savusavu local arts and handicraft section of the Farmer’s Market share the locals’ use of natural resources, with unique handmade gifts that are sold by village artists, farmers who sell produce, and performing musicians. J. Hunter Pearls provides a rare opportunity to find that precious rarity of a pearl in its raw natural environment because the Savusavu Bay’s underwater oyster farm offers not just the oyster and the pearl, but also ocean wisdom.  There are many gifts to take away from this region, but the value of a family’s legacy is immeasurable, as are the experiential souvenirs tattooed on the heart when learning to thrive with and in the ocean. This is ingrained in the Cousteau Resort experience and is a timeless present.

It is hard to leave the JMC without feeling like you are leaving home, a place where all belong.

Summary of World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Posts

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads from the Pacific Islands Part 1 Turtle Island ©

By Suzanne Maxx © The Pacific Island Region seemed to call, and last year I went on an adventure to ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 2 Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Fiji Part 2 Travel to the Yasawa Islands to... Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort Leading the ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 3 JMC

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Continued; Part 3 Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort So too, our love for the ocean is ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 4 Global View

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Continued; Part 4 Koro Sun Resort Koro Sun Resort’s 160-acre sanctuary on the island ...
Read More

#Fiji #PacificIslands, #Jean-MichelCousteauResort, #ECOresorts, #WorldTeam, #SOS-IS #Uniting4Climate @Connect4Climate @COP23, #UN #SDG#14 #Jean-MichelCousteau, #FabienCousteau, 

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 2 Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort

World Team Follows Fiji’s Lead

World Team follows Fiji’s lead in the Pacific Island Region as we journey through Eco resorts, transforming islands. Recent catastrophic events have put the spotlight on the vulnerability of islands to the forces of climate change and the world is taking notice. As World Team Now’s increasing focus is on islands and we write about their transformation and simultaneously work to chart a future, this blog becomes more relevant. Many islands are now facing a dynamic similar to what Fiji and other islands have already gone through— in the recent past, for example, four hurricanes have hit island regions in the United States territories and beyond. To re-develop these islands, in the same way, invites a repetition of earlier flaws in infrastructure development, especially considering the increased risks due to climate change. Instead, there is an opportunity in the midst of the crises to make different choices about how to restructure, a chance to evolve and learn from the past. In the process of restoration, Fiji’s leading Eco approach is of value to observe, including their different choices about energy ownership. The use and allowance of community renewable energy microgrids, and how to collectively give aid to one another is worth consideration. Together, let’s look at some islands resorts of Fiji.

Please read the first paragraphs in Part 1 for the context of this blog within the series.

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now

Fiji Part 2 Travel to the Yasawa Islands to…

Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort

The defining rock of the Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort Photo by Suzanne Maxx

Leading the Eco Resorts in terms of cost, meaning economy, Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort is one of the top destinations. A Native-owned small island resort, Wayalailai Ecohaven can be reached on the convenient island-hopper boat, the Yasawa Flyer. This preeminent Eco Resort, with very simple cottages, is nestled in a small beachside village against the rocky cliffs. Beyond being a backpacker’s heaven with climbing and swimming adventures galore, it is led by natives who know the region and are full of island stories and healthy tidbits to get you a natural workout. It is a dream place for the visitor’s bang for the buck.  

Wayalailai Bungalows, and Dorms Photo by Suzanne Maxx

But it is not just the tourist who benefits from Wayalailai Resort, it is the Islanders. The resort is 100% locally owned Fijian, and employs islanders and also hosts a boarding school on the other side of Wayasewa Island.  The profits of the resort go to the local school, village improvements and the church.

Yasawa Flyer Photo by Suzanne Maxx

Wayalailai Resort has renewable energy goals and is at the same time rebuilding from the hurricanes, which have unfortunately become more extreme and frequent. Housekeeping leaves small portable solar panels out on the lawn to soak in the sun and charge phones daily. Wayalailai Resort is interested in deploying more solar to fully power an Ecohaven Resort. While there, we began brainstorming about possibilities for the future, and what a renewable future would look like for three of the village areas around the island.

Wayalailai Resort Photo by Suzanne Maxx

The resort is owned and managed by native Fijians, who put their heart into what is offered, sharing hikes up to the peak, leading native Kava ceremonies, community meals, and traditional cultural rituals. Kava is a beverage made from Piper Methysticum, a native plant. Here too, guests have the chance to participate in the Kava ritual with the local chief (Ratu), which includes cupping hands and clapping with rounded palms to keep the spirit held within the hands. Repeated three times, it changes the perception of time, with all participants sitting on the floor in a circle, journeying back to the traditional ceremony’s depth of bonding the community spiritually. All sleep well after drinking the natural Kava, which is now becoming a popular industry through the benefits of a globalized economy.

Wayalailai Resort Photo by Suzanne Maxx

Wayalailai Resort still lives close to nature and native culture and remains relatively undeveloped with one of the best value propositions on the islands. It is a true eco bargain and is wildly popular with backpackers seeking an affordable place with the basics, set above the ocean. It is loved by the college-age jet-set who are out to save and have a good time and is popular with families on a budget who all want to live close to the Fijian native culture. This resort gives people the most for the least amount of cost. Here the most vigorous adventure spirit can thrive in many ways—by awakening at sunrise for the guided hike to the top of the rocks that hover over the quaint Eco Resort and village below, going on a sunset sail, or having a beach BBQ.

Wayalailai Resort Photo by Suzanne Maxx

Everything at the resort is done on a personal basis and in a very simple way, with a focus on genuine service and support that caters to a multitude of diverse international needs. A highlight is the breadth of organized activities that integrate different cultures’ games, and ways to just play. From a really fun dance game, bobbing for apples, to a celebratory parade to celebrate Fiji 7’s win, the spirit of Bula prevails. The resort is really authentic, keeping everything close to the basics with nature and culture. Wayalailai Resort is an international portal, popular for locals, Australians, New Zealanders, and the global backpacker who is ready for Wi-Fi, ocean sports, and activities, in a friendly environment. Luxury in proportion to budget, this spot fulfills the basic needs for the minimum cost and is known as the leading Eco in economical resorts where you get the most for the least. This island allows for a true Eco spirit, a favorite to New Zealanders and Australians, as here you can really get close to more of the Fijian native culture too.

Islanders Celebrating Fiji’s Olympic Gold Medal Win Photo by Suzanne Maxx

While there, we celebrated the big Olympic Rugby Gold ceremony, and sat with the Ratu Sakaria Tuinasau (Chief’s name in Fijian) and elders for a traditional Kava ceremony, after the music and dance fun games that are a part of this resort’s integration of cultures.

After Sunset Wayalailai Eco Haven Photo by Suzanne Maxx

By a small boat, I was brought to the other side of the island by the entourage of villagers who had accompanied the local Chief (Ratu).  I was honored to be brought to the humble, yet beautiful dwelling of the Ratu to talk, share ritual and prayer in his family home, and tour the villages. Hearing the needs of the villagers left me eager to give what we could, bring in a team, contribute human capital, and resources to do our best to support their needs. On the other side of the island is a school, and two small villages. They had some solar panels but had been waiting for the inverters to be sent for over a year, so they were not functioning at the time of my visit. The villages would benefit from team efforts with water, sanitation, and renewable energy. One of the small villages near Wayalailai Resort had been destroyed by TC Winston and was still in need of the resources to rebuild at the time of my visit. Every day from there after I witnessed more opportunities for transformation and renewal of island locations.  In Nadi, I met with the manager/local owner representing the people of the island to see what the next steps might be for World Team Now to serve and support their villages and the native people of the island.

Natural Beauty on the Island of Wayasewa  Photo by Suzanne Maxx

One of the highlights at Wayalailai Resort was a snorkel trip, where I got to swim with sharks out on a reef and experience the peaceful beauty of the species that has been publically misunderstood. These are reef sharks, friendly to people and part of the biodiversity that is needed to sustain the oceans’ health. Learning to care for, respect, and understand sharks is critical, especially to transform public perception of the health of the ocean. Biodiverse systems that sustain the health of the oceans with species dependent on one another is a critical concept to embrace for a sustainable future.

Yasawa Island Fiji Photo by Suzanne Max

Eco Island Adventure  Part 3: Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort to be Continued….

Summary of World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Posts

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads from the Pacific Islands Part 1 Turtle Island ©

By Suzanne Maxx © The Pacific Island Region seemed to call, and last year I went on an adventure to ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 2 Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Fiji Part 2 Travel to the Yasawa Islands to... Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort Leading the ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 3 JMC

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Continued; Part 3 Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort So too, our love for the ocean is ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 4 Global View

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Continued; Part 4 Koro Sun Resort Koro Sun Resort’s 160-acre sanctuary on the island ...
Read More

 

#Fiji #PacificIslands #WorldTeam #SOS-IS #Uniting4Climate @Connect4Climate @COP23, #UN #SDG#14

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads from the Pacific Islands Part 1 Turtle Island ©

By Suzanne Maxx ©

The Blue Lagoon Yasawa Islands photo © World Team Now/Maxx

The Pacific Island Region seemed to call, and last year I went on an adventure to the islands of Fiji and Samoa. In the past, we had looked for a location in the United States where our non-profit organization 501 (C) (3) World Team Now (WTN) could go a step beyond Sustainability and demonstrate a renewable future. The answer to the search came with an invitation from a representative of the Fiji Government to visit the islands of Fiji.

World Team Now’s goal was to apply the experience of our Orangetown Green Microgrid entry in the New York Microgrid Prize and share the perspective gained from working on renewable energy and other related systems. World Team Now had previously succeeded with small alternative energy projects in our home state of California, such as helping the City of Malibu install Electric Vehicle Chargers in our EV Charging Campaign. In New York (where WTN is also registered), we did a net metering initiative that helped solar owners in Lake Placid, NY, finally get the right meters to profit from their solar installations. We were ready to do more.

I was on assignment for Environment News Service to keep on writing about Small Island Developing States, (SIDS, the UN acronym) and continued to do so while on this journey by writing about Eco Resorts in Fiji (click here to read articles).

Some colleagues referred to my experience in simultaneously seeking an island location for our World Team project as Dating Geography. What I discovered on this journey was surprising, and unexpected— and shocking that it took a year to assimilate. There are few words for the events that continued in this time of transformation.

Fiji and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) may end up leapfrogging the developed nations and become the model for a sustainable future to benefit us all. In this region, ecology and economy can grow to scale and this new development may more appropriately be called Large Ocean Island States (LOIS) in the future.

Flying to Yasawa Islands Fiji photo © World Team Now/Maxx

Blending the two words ecology and economy, the Small Island Republic of Fiji has leading Eco Resorts that stretch beyond the imagination. These Fijian Eco Resorts are leading with an Eco prowess formula for sustainability, and it is not just for the tourists’ benefit, or for profit, but for the benefit of all who live there as well.

Fiji is one of the few naturally pristine island chains left in the world. Located in the Pacific Island Region, Fiji is one of the rare places that still has beautiful coral reefs, flora, and fauna, along with a crystal clear view of stars and starfish alike from the more than 333 Small Islands that make up the Republic of Fiji. Recently, Fiji ranked at the top of Google’s search engine after Fiji’s 7’s won the Olympic Gold in Rugby, but surprisingly Fiji is also searched for happiness and world peace.

Arrived in Nadi Airport, Fiji— People crowd TV to see Fiji 7s Win Olympic Gold! © World Team Now/Maxx

On the world stage, The Republic of Fiji has moved into global leadership and action, not just by their first local team win in Rugby at the Olympics, but also because, in UN terms, Fiji represents leadership action globally.

Fiji was the first United Nations (UN) member to sign and ratify the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol. His Excellency, Peter Thomson of Fiji, led the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for the year through September 2017.  His UNGA leadership was a historical first for an island state, with many successes.

H.E. Peter Thompson President of the General Assembly and Suzanne Maxx at the UN Ocean Conference photo by Tomas Pico /UN

As the President of the 71st General Assembly, Peter Thomson held a High-Level Event, titled “Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda,” in collaboration with the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). So many UN Member States wanted to participate that another day had to be added to the one-day event. On May 18, 2017, H.E. Peter Thomson facilitated the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on financing the SDGs’ future. Along with Sweden, Fiji organized the UN-Ocean Conference in New York, June 5–10, 2017. World Team registered the UN Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Sustainable Solutions Ocean Opportunities on the Small Island States (SOS-IS) at the Ocean Conference. H.E. Thomson followed up the Ocean Conference with multi-stakeholder partners conference call on the Mangroves which we joined for the status update coming into his new role continuing with work for the Ocean. Watch the closing of the UNGA with the summary of H.E. Thomson’s  accomplishments.

Fiji hosts the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCC’s COP23 from November 6–17, 2017 in Bonn, Germany (being held in Bonn, due to Fiji’s lack of capacity to host more than 20,000 guests in any one island area venue).

With a relatively new Constitution to govern the Republic, Fiji is in the process of petitioning to join the UN Council for Human Rights in 2018.

Of all the treasures Fiji boasts, the most valuable may be the welcoming character and loving (Bula) nature of the native people and their culture. Even industry, Fiji Airlines, for example, welcomes all in a BIG way.

Airport, Fiji

Fiji Airways hanger. © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

The native culture’s hospitality yields care— coming from an organic, authentic lifestyle that lives close to nature and is intimate with the ocean.  Like most island republics, the intimacy and relationship to the ocean are core and, like the breath inhales/exhales, ebbs and flows, the resources of fishing, eco-tourism, flora, and fauna provide what is needed for the people and the planet.

Yet, with the sea level rising, the increased frequency and scope of storms, ocean acidification, pollution, and climate change are all becoming intensified threats to the thriving natural existence of this paradise found. The region is highly susceptible to climate change— hit in 2016 with the record-breaking category 5 cyclone Winston, Fiji knows the ramifications of Climate Change. Living with and on the ocean becomes more challenging to the Fijian traditional way of organizing island life, and sustainable development becomes a necessity going forward. All these elements together make the Small Island Developing States more vulnerable.

This vulnerability of the Pacific Island Region is, however, becoming a leadership strength. They recognize that economy and ecology go hand in hand, and have prioritized sustainability in their development process that could set an example, and not just for island nations. The islands are fragile and vulnerable, yet because of their size and present state of development, they have the greatest opportunity to demonstrate true and lasting sustainability. The lessons learned from the industrially developed world, choosing to sacrifice living with the intimacy of nature in favor of profit, the Fijian sustainable development model is striving for a better balance.

The Blue Lagoon Yasawa Islands photo © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

This is a win/win for ecology and economy considering the future generation’s lives, and in terms of people, biodiversity, and our common home. Even within the rural locations in the developed world, the investment in antiquated infrastructure and a primary fossil-fuel-based electrical grid make the transition to renewable energy more expensive, slower, and harder, keeping the profits in the hands of the privileged and benefiting few. Fortunately, in the Small Island States, the policy, and regulatory structures are not now obstacles in the same way.

Since many small islands have been without water and electricity, it is both economically and ecologically beneficial to start with renewable energy systems. Fiji has embraced the changing times, planning for and allowing Climate Change refugees from neighboring islands in the Pacific Island Region, such as Kiribati, to arrive, and is welcoming them and other island natives to Fiji as their home.

Eco Resorts and Tourism’s business model seem to create a win-win-win for all— foreigners get to enjoy nature’s best in a peaceful, rich environment with cultural diversity. Natives benefit from the jobs created locally, and the economic and tax benefits for the republic end up building a more sustainable future.


Turtle Island

From Nadi, a seaplane will take you to Turtle Island, a pioneering romantic honeymoon Eco Resort, developed initially for couples. Many of Turtle Islands Eco-design systems can be seen from the Turtle Airways seaplane.

Boarding Turtle Airways Seaplane photo © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

For small islands that have been without water and electricity, resorts like Turtle Island have found renewable energy systems to be sustainable.

Turtle Island Resort is one of the leaders in renewable energy systems and living by cradle-to-cradle principles— much more than a desalination resort, it is a paradise found in sustainability.

The 500-acre island is kept in line with nature preservation as they move towards their net-zero island goal for renewable energy. The solar farm that primarily powered The Turtle Island Resort at the time of my stay was 1.2 megawatts of solar energy with battery storage.

Turtle Island Solar Farm © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

Upon arrival at Turtle Island, you are carried from the seaplane to the shore by natives serenading with a local song, and it seems the whole island’s population joyously celebrates your arrival like a holiday. The heartwarming welcome, Bula, exclaimed by natives who live and work on the island, brings on a feeling of home in its purest sense because love is present and freely offered and everything is set up for you and your partner’s comfortable participation in sharing island life.

Nature’s gift organized by Turtle Island, Bure’s entrance Photo © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

Water is harvested from the natural environment, with both rainwater (catchment) and seawater taking the salt out of the sea (desalination), to make fresh water. The fresh water is collected in a reservoir and stored in water tanks. It is not just the beauty of the famous surrounding Blue Lagoon shores, it is also the way they work with and use water— beauty from what is put within and all around at this Eco-luxury Resort.

Cradling Turtle Island, The Blue Lagoon Photo © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

Turtle Island is the brainchild of Richard Evanson, and now his son Richard Evanson Junior (Jr) who continues to expand and implement the vision of this island to preserve the natural habitat and enhance the natural beauty of the island, prioritizing sustainability.  They have preserved wildlife by bringing in species and creating the breeding ground for these species to thrive, like, for instance, the colorful wild collection of tropical birds in flocks that include parrots, cockatoos, and parakeets.

Mahogany Tree in Turtle Island’s Legacy Forrest © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

According to Richard Jr., who continues the family legacy of Turtle Island, “The Island boasts guava, papaya, passion fruit, soursop, and coconut trees, with more than 900,000 thousand trees planted,” since his father Richard Sr. envisioned Turtle Island.

© World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

 

Traditional Kava Ceremony/ Turtle Island Staff Photo © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

Jr. explained,  “Dad strategically planted 60–75 thousand Mahogany trees, not only to preserve the land and prevent devastation by being organic, natural fire-damage prevention, but also to increase the land value… the trees support ecological biodiversity, prevent soil erosion, create windbreaks, and help the reforestation of indigenous forests.” Their family’s philosophy, explained Richard Jr, is that “Decisions and developments must make financial sense, have environmental integrity, benefit the local people, and celebrate the heritage and culture of a place.”

The Kava ceremony and native traditional dance and songs augment the heartfelt sharing with staff and island entertainment in the evenings.

Here is my video of Fiji Traditional Culture Song & Dance.

Anniversary Ritual From Couple’s Honey Moon Photo © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

In every breath at Turtle Island, there is the opportunity for intimacy, not only with your partner, but with the orchids, the birds, and the ocean. Whether you want to kayak or do stand-up paddle boarding into the sunset, dive or snorkel, meditate on the colorful patterns of the fish you swim with, or go for a horseback ride, all are captivating ways to relate romantically to the island and ocean and one another.

Turtle Island Patty’s Private Beach Lookout Photo © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

Intimacy on Turtle Island is prioritized to have all honeymoon expectations met, catering to personal desires, like, for example, just for you and your loved one, your own special menu for private dining on your own floating table while watching the sunset on the ocean, or dining under the stars.

Or the option to create your own private beach excursion and picnic meals. Food Director and world-renowned chef, Jacques Reymond use wild-caught, fresh seafood right out of the ocean to create culinary art which feeds all the senses. Think Pacific green lobster, snapper, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, and prawns, integrated with fresh home-grown vegetables, coconuts from the trees, all combined together for culinary masterpieces, or look at the cuisine here. Each person’s dietary needs can be met, or custom made to the activity and the adventure or environment of the moment. It is more than the body that is fed, and the community-style meals bond hearts, with all else that is needed provided for in your Bure.

© World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

The 14 handcrafted native Bures are mostly constructed and carved from island-grown hardwoods. The Bures have an authentic Fijian design and are equipped with all the ideal creature comforts. In addition to having double showers, and bathrooms, tranquility reigns with the deck’s day bed by the ocean and the beachside hammock under the palm trees.  The pristine pure scent of the tropical flowers, mixed with the salty ocean spray is intoxicating. The ocean and its bathwater temperature make each private Bure’s large sunken Jacuzzi just another version of the play in a warm water paradise.

Here is a Video Tour of the Turtle Island of a Bure.

 

The View from the Villa’s Day Bed, Turtle Island © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

There is a full-service Spa on the island— Vonu Spa’s four hands, two masseurs for one body, Lomi Lomi massage experience, with all-natural Pure Fiji, is to live for. Turtle Island is an exclusive paradise, with the perfect amount of luxury and openness to what is natural. Activities are optional, flexible, and can be tailored to your need, and they range from learning the Fijian language to native culinary delights, or Zen and the Art of Opening Coconuts.

Turtle Island not only looks like a turtle but is also a breeding and nesting ground for sea turtles, where turtles come onshore to lay their eggs at night. Turtle Island’s conservation program is in partnership with World Wildlife Fund, and you can learn more about their Sea Turtle Program here.

Paradise Found comes with also facing the reality of duality— nothing in form is perfect, or rather perfection lies in embracing imperfection, as well as the constant aspect of change. This includes the paradise found on Turtle Island Resort too.  It is indeed the will to keep doing better, growing and improving that counts.  Willingness to change is a quality that World Team Now embraces, as we have learned this makes for the extraordinary and is a key to the transformation of an island.  Solutions that we suggested seemed welcomed in the intimacy of Turtle Island. It was a joy to see Monica Laurence, the niece of Richard Sr.,  embrace the suggestion to have the Farm to Table fresh home-grown food be Organic or even Bio.  This happened because I had met a Fijian woman, Vitila Vuniwaqa of Vee’s Farm, with deep roots and contacts in the organic farm community, and introduced her to Monica. By now Turtle Island could be well on their way to being Organic Farm to Table.  And we hope that, in the process, they have found a plant-based solution to approaching insects.

The Vital Role of Mangroves, Turtle Island © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

When the solar energy scales up further, and perhaps when hydrogen and other storage and energy sources we discussed are added, Turtle Island will reach the 100% renewable goal, operating 100% of the time. I had an island tour in one of the electric golf carts, which was one of the first alternative vehicles used on the island.  With other alternative vehicles suggested, like electric and hydrogen fuel cell, cars, trucks, and trackers, all could be further integrated into the island’s transportation modes.  Once these become economical to import, islanders will ultimately no longer need the diesel gas used; meanwhile, we discussed the possibility of biodiesel down the road. Fossil Fuel freedom is on the horizon for these islands that have developed by being in tune with nature.

It seems the goal of everyone on Turtle Island is to make each and every person feel like family and attend to their every need with a genuine kindness, not because it is their job, but because this is who the Fijian people are— happy, so they want to spread what makes them feel good. A family member died during my stay, and the support and kindness extended to me by the locals and the Evanson family made it possible for me to go forward there. Monica Laurence has carried the Turtle Island bond forward into future generations with Turtle Talks (watch here).

Turtle Island’s Bula spirit gives back to the communities and supports the education of islanders and some special programs that include island rugby. Turtle Island’s motto is “Ask for anything” within the sustainable resort experience. Turtle Island prioritizes a balance between the environment and culture, with the emphasis on couples, family legacy, and the willingness to give back to local communities with programs from rugby to education.

Turtle Island, Fiji ‘s legacy is true, Once Discovered Never Forgotten, see more from the fabulous new website here.

Turtle Island © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

 

 Eco Island Adventure To Be Continued…

Summary of World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Posts

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads from the Pacific Islands Part 1 Turtle Island ©

By Suzanne Maxx © The Pacific Island Region seemed to call, and last year I went on an adventure to ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 2 Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Fiji Part 2 Travel to the Yasawa Islands to... Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort Leading the ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 3 JMC

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Continued; Part 3 Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort So too, our love for the ocean is ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 4 Global View

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Continued; Part 4 Koro Sun Resort Koro Sun Resort’s 160-acre sanctuary on the island ...
Read More

World Team Now Bestows Inaugural ‘Pioneer for the Planet’ Award To Ocean Conservationist Fabien Cousteau

NEWS RELEASE:
July 19, 2017

World Team Now Bestows Inaugural ‘Pioneer for the Planet’ Award
To Ocean Conservationist Fabien Cousteau

NEW YORK and MALIBU, CA – World Team Now, a non-profit organization devoted to the sustainability of human development and of Planet Earth, announced today that it has bestowed its first “Pioneer for the Planet” award to Aquanaut and ocean conservationist Fabien Cousteau, founder of the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center (New York City, NY).

The award was presented at a recent gathering in New York for a current project “Sustainable Solutions: Ocean Opportunities & Small Island States (SOS-IS),” a United Nations (UN) – afforded multi-stakeholder partnership made possible by the Paris Agreements on Sustainable Development Goals. SOS-IS was first registered at the UN Ocean Conference in June 2017 and comprises Fabien Cousteau’s Ocean Learning Center, The Hydrogen House, Renewables 100 Policy Institute and World Team Now which are all teaming on behalf of small islands and ocean projects – representing direct action from peoples and organizations in the United States.

“Fabien’s work for community engagement and education regarding ocean protection, and its projects such as those protecting and restoring corals, sharks, mangroves and sea turtle populations – as means for protecting humanity and the planet – is tireless,” said World Team Now Founder Suzanne Maxx, who noted Cousteau launched the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center in 2016, and most recently at World Oceans Day (June 8, 2017) in conjunction with the UN Oceans Conference.

“Oceans and the health of hydrogen ecosystems are essential for the survival of our species on planet Earth – they breathe in carbon and breathe out oxygen — and 193 nations of the United Nations have just agreed to recognize, in the face of climate change, how integral ocean diversity and protection is to human life,” Maxx said. “Fabien’s work underscores not just the spirit and legacy of his grandfather’s and family’s namesake [Jacques-Yves Cousteau] but also embraces immediate action to rally public support for positive change. We can and must take remedial actions to heal our oceans – and we need such actions to achieve sustainability in all its forms – planetary, social and economic. Fabien exemplifies this fortitude, courage, leadership, and bias to act.”

In 2014, Fabien Cousteau set a world record for 31 days underwater, inspired by his grandfather, whose oceanographic work Fabien continues to carry to new frontiers – which also underscores his pioneering efforts, Maxx said.

The World Team Now first “Pioneer for the Planet” Award is launched to recognize visionaries and leaders who prompt action to effect restorative conservation efforts in pursuit of sustainability for a renewable future. These pioneers of new frontiers, new systems — have the experience with exploring new territory, going beyond perceived boundaries; in the ocean, on land, or up into space.  These Aquanauts, astronauts, and explorers may pioneer scientific research, alternative transportation, or even technological innovation. [Editor’s Note: A complete biography of Fabien Cousteau is available here.]

“It is a privilege to be recognized as a Pioneer for the Planet by World Team Now,” Fabien Cousteau said, “and an honor to be a World Team member. We have a significant obligation toward future generations as we are living in challenging times.”

Fabien quoted his grandfather, Jacques-Yves Cousteau: “People protect what they love, they love what they understand.

The award was presented June 9 at Grand Banks, Pier 25, in New York City, where World Team Now provided donors and guests an overview of its initial SOS-IS projects, including its work in Fiji, and its launch in the Pacific Island Region, to build renewable energy micro-grids toward energy independence, clean water and power, biodiversity protection, and demonstration of leading technologies in sustainability for a renewed future – particularly as small island states grapple with rising oceans. Attendees dined on sustainably sourced seafood there, aboard the wooden schooner Sherman Zwicker. The event also was made possible with the support of Earthx – an annual Dallas, TX Earth Day event organized by Trammell S. Crow.

World Team Now 2017 Gala June 9th 2017


About World Team Now

World Team Now is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization World Team is a multi-media project with a platform launching in 2017 supported by people, like you, who realize that they are citizens of the world. We are committed to discovering ways to unite people beyond country, culture, religion, politics, or economic status and awaken the common commitment to living in balance with our natural resources and embrace global environmental and social issues of consequence. We intend to show people what it is like to create a big vision one person at a time, one resource at a time… and to share the journey with the world. www.WorldTeamNow.org

World Team Now Gala photo album link  is https://photos.app.goo.gl/qpJX4rtfC9PKTaj03

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