University of South Pacific Marine science students at Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort; the circle being made with arms is the ‘O’ for OZONE symbol; and fish houses ready for coral planting
CORAL COAST, FIJI - An increase in marine life such as baby reef sharks has followed a coral planting program being undertaken by Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort as part of a wider Outrigger Resorts global OZONE (Outrigger’s ZONE) conservation initiative.
In Fiji, the program has seen coral propagation racks and fish houses built as part of a teenager guest activity program organized by the resort’s hosts.
The success of this coral planting has attracted the attention of the University of the South Pacific, which this year will send 120 students studying marine science to observe the work being carried out at Outrigger Fiji.
The resort’s giant clam farm is also thriving. A favorite snorkeling destination for guests, it is helping to restore the health of the coral and boost fish numbers.
The United Nations has designated 2018 as the third International Year of the Reef.
The first official event held in Fiji as part of this year-long awareness campaign took place at Nukubati Resort, a Fijian-owned property which fronts the Great Sea Reef, the third-longest continuous barrier reef in the world.“This is a global event of relevance to every single person on earth,” said Fiji’s Prime Minister, Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, who attended the event.
“But it has a particular resonance for the Fijian people because of where we are today – on the edge of one of our most precious national assets, the Great Sea Reef or Cakaulevu Reef.
PM Bainimarama emphasized the importance of protecting the world's reefs and also announced that a significant portion of the Great Sea Reef had been nominated as a Ramsar site under the Convention on Wetlands, to help protect it from external threats.
A Ramsar site is designated under international treaty as a wetland important for the conservation of global biological diversity and for sustaining human life.
“We are engaged in a battle for the future of these reefs. We approved the nomination of large parts of the Great Sea Reef as a Ramsar site to protect it for future generations,” he said.
The Prime Minister also thanked the UN for choosing Fiji as the location from which it would highlight the state of the world’s reefs.
“I want to use this opportunity to reaffirm Fiji’s determination to continue to lead the global climate negotiations with absolute vigor, focus and commitment,” he said.Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment told the audience that 2018 was a “make or break year for the world’s coral reefs. We have a short window when we can act, and the United Nations, WWF, and countries like Fiji are calling on the world to take the steps that will fix the problem this year,” he said.
Under its OZONE initiative, Outrigger Resorts participates in year-round global and local efforts with dozens of opportunities for marine education and conservation activities. Outrigger hosts put the company’s conservation mission into action by participating in green initiatives across local communities such as marine environment educational sessions, field trips to beaches, coastal wetlands and mangroves and beach clean ups.
Located on iconic beaches in Hawaii, Thailand, Guam, Fiji, Mauritius, and Maldives, Outrigger Resorts is dedicated to marine preservation and works year-round on a range of initiatives to generate awareness for the cause, as well as create opportunities for guests to help with crucial marine ecosystems conservation.
ABOUT OUTRIGGER FIJI BEACH RESORT
Located on the Coral Coast of the main island of Viti Levu, Outrigger Fiji delivers culturally authentic guest experiences where guests can connect with each other, their beautiful Fijian hosts and the destination. The accent is on providing five-star, beachfront accommodation while retaining authentic elements of the traditional Fijian village. One of the trademarks of the resort is the Meimei nannies program, an affordable service staffed by trained, professional nannies which allows parents to enjoy time together, safe in the knowledge that their children are in caring, capable hands. It is supported by an extensive daily activities schedule, two kids’ clubs and a teens’ program. The resort features a large, family-oriented pool and an adults-only pool with swim-up bar and bistro. Adults can also relax at the resort’s Bebe Spa Sanctuary located high on a hill overlooking the resort with views across the coral fringed lagoon. In addition to a number of family-friendly restaurants, the resort also features its signature, adults-only restaurant Ivi, the ideal choice for parents looking for that special dining occasion. Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort is that place where families find themselves at one with their destination and its people.
ABOUT OUTRIGGER HOTELS AND RESORTS
Outrigger Hotels and Resorts is a privately held leisure lodging, retail and hospitality company with corporate offices in Hawaii and operating globally in the Asia-Pacific, Oceania and Indian Ocean regions. From its Outrigger Signature Experiences to its Outrigger DISCOVERY loyalty program, the values-based company invites guests to escape ordinary with exceptional hospitality and authentic cultural experiences, incorporating local traditions and customs at each of its properties worldwide. Founded in 1947, Outrigger has grown into a highly successful, multi-branded portfolio of hotels, condominiums and vacation resort properties, including Outrigger® Resorts, OHANA Hotels by Outrigger®, Hawaii Vacation Condos by Outrigger®, Embassy Suites®, Holiday Inn®, Best Western®, Wyndham Vacation Ownership® and Hilton Grand VacationsTM. Outrigger currently operates and/or has under development 37 properties with approximately 6,500 rooms located in Hawaii (Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii Island); Guam; Fiji; Thailand; Mauritius; and the Maldives. Find out; find Outrigger at: www.outrigger.com or visit @OutriggerResorts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.