Finding Local Solutions to Environmental Challenges

The Loru Environment Centre is run by the village-based Loru Protected Area Committee (LoPAC) and is helping rural people in Vanuatu to address their environmental concerns at the grass-root level.

LoPAC started the Centre in response to the numerous requests for advice that they received after setting up the adjacent Loru Rainforest Protected Area with the support of VPAI. This award winning rainforest reserve is now used by the Centre as a model of what can be achieved by local people to protect rainforest of local and international significance.

Built in the style of a traditional meetinghouse or "nakamal", the Centre provides an ideal setting in which to explore and develop local solutions to environmental challenges, with a strong emphasis on traditional environmental management. Regular workshops at the Centre cover a range of topics relating to the conservation of wildlife and habitats. There is also a small environmental library and colourful display boards to help visitors understand the issues. Chiefs, landowners, college students, school children, women's organisations and tourists are just some of the regular visitors welcomed at the Centre.

The project is currently focusing on rainforest conservation and tree planting to counter problems caused by rapid forest clearance by logging companies and agriculturalists. All visitors to the centre are encouraged to think about the needs of future generations and to mark their visit by planting a tree.

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Loru Environment Centre
Loru Protected Area Committee (LoPAC)
"Web of life" game at a joint VPAI/Dept of Forests workshop at Loru
Primary school children visiting Loru for the first time
Acting British High Commisioner launching the Loru Environment Centre