Private sector commitment to marine environment program

L-R front row: General manager Marketing and NPD Roweena Taito, general manager Sales and Corporate Affairs Joe Rodan, chief financial controller and company secretary Vinish Singh. L-R back row: General Manager Mike Spencer and general manager operations Sudha Deo. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE continued commitment from the private sector has given a much needed boost to the marine environment protection program that’s being run by the Mamanuca Environment Society (MES).

Local beverages company Paradise Beverages Fiji Ltd announced its new long-term partnership with MES with 10 of the company’s executives working with the society’s marine biologists, planting 49 acropora corals before transferring them to the in-house reef at Castaway Island, as part of an ongoing coral replenishment program.

“The Fijian Islands are home to one of the world’s most outstanding tropical marine environments, with many of our species found nowhere else in the world,” said Paradise Beverages general manager Mike Spencer.

Mr Spencer also took the opportunity to promote the importance of local partnerships like this to the local marine environment.

“It’s this incredible diversity and natural beauty that puts Fiji on the map and draws in tourists from around the world. It’s also a fundamental part of the identity and livelihood of most Fijians, most local communities rely heavily on marine resources for food and the jobs and income from our vital tourism and fisheries industries.

“As a local company and one of Fiji’s largest employers, we absolutely recognise that Paradise and our people play a part in protecting the environment and the communities around us,” he said.

A statement from the company said the announcement extended a decade-long relationship between MES and Paradise Beverages’ Vonu beer brand, which carries the Vonu Dina as its emblem.

Company general manager marketing and new product development, Roweena Taito said they were proud of their Vonu beer’s support for the work of MES in protecting endangered turtle species for over a decade.

“Our decision to extend it reflects the vital role the society plays in protecting our turtles and the marine environment they live in. “We’re committed to working with the MES to raise awareness and funds to protect our coral reefs and marine life that are so crucial to our turtles, and our Fijian way of life,” said Ms Taito.

MES project manager Marica Vakacola said the sponsorship from Paradise Beverages would enable them to further achieve their goals to expand conservation work further in the Mamanuca region in areas of ocean conservation, and further benefit Island communities and commercial stakeholders’ through the oversight, assistance and education provided by the Society.

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