Conservation & Sustainability
We live and operate in a pristine but fragile ecosystem that traverses both sea and land. So as a Resort company operating in such a pristine and 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 ongoing 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 ongoing 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 Chef of the Mamanuca Islands “Na Tui Lawa” declared the waters and reefs in front of Malolo and Likuliku Lagoon Resorts 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 Mamanuca’s 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 forest 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.
- The Malolo Island Crested Iguanas – Brachylophus vitiensis, were considered extinct until 2010 when an injured adult was discovered at Likuliku Lagoon Resort. The specie was later sent to Kula Park on Fiji’s mainland for care but unfortunately died – its tissue remains are kept at the University of the South Pacific. Visiting researchers, Dr. Robert Fisher of the US Geological Survey and Dr. Peter Harlow of Taronga Zoo were informed of the find whereby they extracted a tissue sample from the specimen which was sent to San Diego Zoo in the USA for DNA analysis. The results came back indicating that it was a species thought to be extinct.Working with researchers from the US Geological Survey, Taronga Zoo and San Diego Zoo, immediate steps were taken by Ahura Resorts to identify major threats that could be inhibiting the growth of the Malolo iguanas. First and foremost, an invasive species management program was implemented in controlling the local feral cat and rat populations; and secondly, a restoration plan was implemented to restore the natural habitat of the Malolo iguanas. This habitat is commonly termed as a dry forest, categorised as the most critically endangered vegetation type in the world. As a result of the dry forest restoration plan, a nursery was established at Likuliku Lagoon Resort in 2012 which has since produced more than 3500 native tree species that have been planted within the resort leases.In June 2015, 3 years after these programs were implemented, a survey in one of the last remaining dry forest patches was conducted and revealed six new iguanas, indicating that the program had worked. Two of the six iguanas were captured, DNA samples taken, tagged and released back into the wild. As a result of these finds, a decision was made to bring in a sponsored post-graduate Herpetology student from the University of Georgia in the USA for a period of 3 months in 2016. His task was to consolidate all the work done on iguanas, and to expand the surveys with the aim of finding more iguanas on other dry forest patches. This resulted in the discovery of 3 juveniles, who were subsequently tagged and released back into the wild. By July 2016, a total of 21 individual wild iguanas had been documented within Ahura leases.
The conservation programs put in place 5 years ago, had clearly made a positive impact as the growing population had become visible. All newly found iguanas have been electronically tagged for tracking and DNA sampled thus enabling researchers to track them over time. It is hoped that ongoing surveys will show continued success of the programs and a further increase in this specie population.
There are 10 iguanas held in captivity at Likuliku Lagoon Resort (Malolo’s sister property) for observation and breeding purposes. They have all been DNA tested and are of the original Malolo species. In January 2017, the first successful breeding in captivity occurred and now in addition to the adult colony, there are two hatchlings in captivity.
Operational environmental practices are now part of everyday resort life with ongoing commitments to the preservation of Flora and Fauna, the land and the archeological sites including regenerative and recycling measures such as:
- Regular inspections by Environmental Engineers and specialists to ensure standards are being met
- Ongoing 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 utilising 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 ongoing 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 Orthopedic Foundation and the Cancer Association.