As the United Nations designates 2018 as the third International Year of the Reef, Castaway Island, Fiji has appointed an environment officer as part of its ongoing commitment to preserve and protect its pristine marine environment.
A graduate of Fiji National University with a bachelor’s degree in environmental management, Mr. Kolinio Mataiyaga Vulaono will be responsible for the environmentally sustainable use of both the marine and land–based resources of the resort.
Kolinio will work in partnership with other tourism operators, communities, government and non-government organizations while also promoting OZONE, Outrigger Resorts’ global conservation initiative, centred on protecting the health of the world’s coral reefs and oceans.
He sees his role as focusing on education and training to prevent degradation of the environment, working closely with the resort’s PADI dive, water-sports and activities department to deliver the Outrigger-Zone (OZONE) environment initiative and collaborating with the Mamanuca Environment Society.
Kolinio will also assist in the implementation of guest education awareness programs, coordinate educational workshops, assist in developing regulations for marine environment and carry out water sampling, reef check monitoring and solid waste site inspection.
He says his interest in the environment was triggered by National Geographic documentaries on television and reading science journals as a child.
“I was always fascinated by the interaction that existed between all the living things in society and the way each species was intertwined and dependent on each other.
“The thing that I enjoy the most about this profession is sharing the message of conservation, sustainable practices and protection of the environment to people from all walks of life.
“It gives me a satisfying feeling knowing that the environmental work that I do together with that of the guests and staff at Castaway contribute to the bigger picture of saving our planet,” he says.
Castaway guests will be invited to take part in weekly environment activities that have been designed to be fun and engaging for all age groups. These will include bird watching, coral planting and viewing, guided snorkelling, herbal medicine walks, guided bushwalk, excursions to neighbouring islands, star gazing and a range of educational talks and games covering the subjects of mangrove awareness, marine best practices, terrestrial live species and much more.