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Peter Green takes pride in his heritage as a descendant of the Djiru, Butchulla, and Mununjali clans, belonging to the First Nations peoples of Australia.

Residing in Cairns, North Queensland, he is employed by the Queensland Government in the Department of Environment and Science. Peter is actively involved in diverse conservation initiatives, collaborating with Indigenous communities in Queensland. His responsibilities encompass capacity building for the Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program, facilitating training and development, overseeing conservation programs for youth, and contributing to the advancement of the World Heritage listing for Cape York Peninsula through UNESCO.

Peter come to Vanuatu as a tourist to Vanuatu in a fishing trip. In a Nakamal he heard about the state of the Erakor Lagoons and the efforts of the Erakor Council of tribal chiefs and communities to Save the Lagoons. He also met an Ecology teacher from the School of Education of the National University of Vanuatu and heard about science teachers trainees involvement with the Erakor Community to assist the setup of an Education and Awareness Environment Center / Nakamal. After few shells and a good chat on exchange of experiences, Peter was invited for a Wokabout at Erakor Bridge to meet the community and learn about their dreams and share the experiences of the Native Australians in conservation projects in North Queensland.

Peter visited the Erakor Community on Saturday morning and learn that the Indigenous peoples of Vanuatu are experiencing similar issues as the Indigenous people of Australia on issues including, recognition of tribal / cultural laws/lores by the government bodies, the protection of cultural / environmental values, employment, youth programs and the need for funding / resources to invest in environmental programs on the ground.

The Chief of Solwota’s Erakor Lagoons Restoration Plan is a great start to Save the Lagoon namely to make sure that the tribal chiefs are helping government authorities to preserve the Lagoons.

It would be great to have youth and community members have similar roles to Rangers Indigenous Rangers play a crucial role in environmental conservation and cultural preservation.

Tasked with safeguarding their ancestral lands and seas, these guardians engage in a diverse range of activities. From managing and rehabilitating ecosystems to conducting flora and fauna surveys, Indigenous Rangers employ traditional knowledge and modern conservation techniques to protect biodiversity. Additionally, they often collaborate with communities, educating the public on sustainable practices and fostering a deeper connection to the environment. Through initiatives like Junior Rangers programs, Indigenous Rangers also pass down their expertise to younger generations, ensuring the continuity of both environmental stewardship and cultural heritage.

Peter had opportunity to be briefed by Cynthia about the community, its environment and the idea of building a school / environment center / Nakamal…

Peter suggested Junior Rangers programs model similar to those in Queensland and Australia. These programs involve students through schools, offering them hands-on experience working with Rangers to safeguard and preserve the land and sea.

The curriculum integrates real-life experiences within the environmental industry and provides exposure to the local culture. Participants engage in various activities, including reforestation initiatives, land or sea rehabilitation, community cleanup efforts, flora and fauna surveys, public education, and any projects identified as high-priority by the community.

Peter and Cynthia will be in contact to exchange ideas for the School / Nakamal / Environmental Awareness Center that has been supported by the French People and is currently under design.

By Peter Green