8th March
(previous post on the Vanuatu chicken battery & abattoir)

Our activist efforts in Vanuatu have been rewarded, the chicken battery proposal is now officially dead in the water.

This campaign has been a resounding success, not only have we stopped this damaging proposal, we have asserted the ongoing importance of protecting Port Vila’s water catchment, and we have cast a spotlight on practices inside the department of Environment and increased pressure for proper adherence to existing environmental laws.

Already in the wake of the success at Bellevue other groups in Vanuatu are drawing inspiration and renewing their fights for proper environmental assessment processes. Such successful community action in a developing country is rare, and it has been great to see the processes discussed in the Activists Handbook used to such good effect in such a different setting. We were never against the farm itself; we just wanted it relocated out of the municipal water catchment. Congrats to Dan, Joshua, BJ and all the crew.

The letter below is what success for community activists looks like:

Dear Bellevue Residents

The Director of the Department has requested that I provide you with an update on the Chiko Farm matter.

Following the consultation meeting on March 3, the Director of the DEPC, the Ministry of Lands and the proponents had a meeting to discuss the next steps. At that time, the proponents expressed their intention not to proceed with the chicken farm at Bellevue, other than to complete construction of the building that has already commenced. The proponents have indicated their intention is to use that building as a warehouse/storage shed. This limited use will be reflected in the Director’s variation of his determination.

As the proponents are not proceeding with the chicken farm project at Bellevue, the Director considers that there is no longer a need for an EIA to be conducted for the Bellevue site or for a further consultation meeting.

The proponents, with the Department’s assistance, are in the process of drafting a public notice about their decision not to proceed with the Bellevue project. In the meantime the Director asked that I notify the residents of these recent developments.

The proponents are now working closely with the Government to identify an alternate site for the proponents to lease and to build their chicken farm.

The Director will be returning to the office on Monday and will be available at that time to answer any queries.

I also confirm that the proponent will be asked to move the fuel tank further away from the creek.

Kind regards

Reedly Tari

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