THE WWF-South Pacific Volunteer Programme will be expanded following the success of the pilot program in 2011.
The program was established to provide WWF with a pool of extra hands to support conservation efforts and contribute to Fiji's employment scene through capacity building for young leaders in environment conservation.
"The formal set-up adhered to WWF International standards and resolved past ad hoc arrangements where we had to scout for volunteers whenever a need arose," program co-coordinator Akisi Bolabola said.
"This past year has been great and we have managed to meet objectives set for the piloting period.
"An evaluation showed capacity building needs have been met through field work supported by WWF officers and in areas where volunteers took the lead."
Volunteers successfully carried out a mangrove baseline survey at Buretu in Tailevu, the main intent of which was to get familiarised with stages of survey methods, planning and execution.
The newly-expanded program will be run by the volunteers themselves under the guidance of WWF staff, with a renewed vigor for fundraising and engaging in activities that doesn't necessarily directly support the conservation project work plan but is linked to WWF-South Pacific's strategic plan.
Volunteer Programme president Andra Whiteside said in the new scheme of things, old volunteers would mentor new members who will form two streams, a team actively involved in activities and another called upon when the need arises.