The creation of Regenerative Vanua

Regenerative Vanua originated from the piloting of the Food Tourism and Agritourism (FTA) Initiative (Produktif Turism Blong Yumi Initiative) which has made a significant positive impact on Indigenous people throughout Vanuatu’s islands by creating opportunities to support adaptation and diversification through the development of Regenerative Food Tourism and Agritourism experiences. This initiative is also having positive social, cultural, environmental and health impacts on Indigenous people and further supporting the Sustainable Development Goals.

The nature of Government processes results in the inability of Government to quickly respond to shifts in the market brought about by external impacts such as climate change and pandemics such as COVID 19. To ensure that the private industry in Vanuatu was receiving the support needed to remain resilient in the face of increasing challenges the Ministry of Trades trailed a new approach in 2020 of outsourcing programs intended for supporting the private industry. Part of this approach was the piloting of the Food Tourism and Agritourism Initiative, the formation of the Not-for-Profit Regenerative Vanua who developed and piloted the Food Tourism and Agritourism Initiative in collaboration with the Department of Tourism, the National Agritourism Committee and the Vanuatu Agritourism Association. This approach of outsourcing programs with Government providing an oversight role proved effective and the program won the Island Innovations Award in 2021 for the significant impact it had on private industry resilience and community development. Due to increasing support both regionally and internationally for the activities managed in the Not-for-profit Regenerative Vanua has now expanded its portfolio and is now working with regional and international partners

The Honourable Minister Mr James Bule recently stated “In 2021, the Vanuatu Department of Tourism took an innovative approach to outsourcing key programs under the Tourism Crises Response and Recovery Plan and the Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Strategy (2021-2025) to enable the Government to act quickly in a time of crises. Recognising the capacity issues and processes within Government that limit the ability for Government to respond quickly in a crisis, key coordinators from the private sector with many years of experience were contracted to work with Government staff to develop programs to support the private sector during a difficult time. The outcome of this was the formation of the Not-for-Profit Regenerative Vanua who the Department of Tourism supported through the European Development Fund (EDF 11) to develop and pilot the Food Tourism and Agritourism Initiative and the formation of the Vanuatu Agritourism Association. I’m so pleased to see that this public/private partnership led to being awarded an Island Innovation Award and I look forward to seeing Regenerative Vanua take what Vanuatu has achieved in the agritourism space not only regionally but internationally”.