Stacy received a PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2006, during which time she received a Fulbright postgraduate award to conduct research through the University of Queensland, in collaboration with Stuart Phinn and Ove Hoegh-Guldberg. Her work examined linkages between upstream land use and downstream consequences of changes in water quality in coastal and nearshore areas around Mackay, Queensland. In 2006, Stacy began a post-doctoral position with the CoE jointly through the Australian National University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science, working with Malcolm McCulloch and Janice Lough, where she focused on using coral records to identify environmental perturbations. In April 2008, Stacy accepted a position as Associate Conservation Scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society based in Fiji where she is responsible for directing seascape-scale science to inform the selection of community-managed marine protected area networks.
Sani has 4 ½ years experience working in resource management and community development in Fiji, principally with WWF. He is currently responsible for shaping the WWF Fiji Country Conservation programme, which focuses on fisheries, marine species, sustainable marine resource management, marine protected areas, climate change and the recent Coral Triangle Initiative. Sani is additionally responsible for programme development, management and liaising with donors at a regional level across the Pacific. Prior to employment with WWF, Sani worked as a researcher with the University of the South Pacific, conducting socioeconomic studies. His main expertise lies in community-based management of marine and terrestrial resources, policy development and advocacy.
Fiji’s Vatu-i-Ra and Great Sea reefs are globally recognized for their exceptional biodiversity, though both regions are threatened from land-based activities (e.g. mining, logging, agriculture) and overfishing, from both subsistence and commercial activities. In response to these threats, three NGOs (WCS, WWF and Wetlands International) partnered in 2005 to establish two science-based networks of protected areas with the goal to preserve the functional integrity of Fiji’s seascapes. The project is focused on two traditional fisheries management areas and their adjacent catchments on the northern and south-western side of Vanua Levu. Our research teams are using a holistic approach to investigate: (1) the flux of abiotic materials from catchment sources to coastal and marine zones; (2) biotic connectivity between freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats; (3) response of coral reef communities to protection at the ecosystem scale; and (4) the impact of protected areas on community resources. A brief overview of the individual components of the project will be presented, along with a case study from the Macuata region, where biological and socioeconomic information were brought together to enable communities to optimize their MPA network design.