Passion Points: Green/Eco
The very concept of carbon offsets —which allow you to atone for any ecological sins by simply donating money—suggests the dilemma that can occasionally arise between having a green lifestyle and remaining financially solvent. For indigenous communities, living on some of the world’s most undeveloped islands, this dilemma is thrown into sharper relief as it often translates into one between conservation and vital economic progress. In Fiji, an archipelago teeming with floral and marine diversity, locals, when faced with dilapidated infrastructure and health care systems severely lacking in funds, naturally look toward the area’s pristine forests and waters as a solution to their financial woes. Seacology, an environmental non-profit focusing its efforts solely on island conservation (the majority of species’ extinctions occur on islands), seeks to prevent such ecologically destructive actions by donating money and resources to communities in need. Their field representatives, located on islands all over the world, pinpoint areas facing the conservation-development dilemma and devise compromises so that all parties benefit. On the Fijian island of Vanua Levu, in a small village called Nukubalavu, that compromise involved villagers setting aside 25,600 acres as a no-take marine reserve in exchange for the construction of a preschool.
This August potential Seacology donors can go on an eight-day family trip to Fiji to witness some of the non-profit’s undertakings firsthand.
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