Sustainability at Navutu Stars
Tourism came late to the Yasawas, with the region remained closed to tourism ventures until the 1980’s. The result is a pristine, unspoilt beauty and a traditional culture barely touched by the modern world. Navutu Stars is an eco-friendly Fijian resort committed to preserving the environment and the culture for generations to come, by operating in a way that is thoughtful, sustainable and supports the local community.
We worked very closely with the local village, Yaqeta to establish the resort in 2004, and continue to have close ties to the community.
Until we opened the resort there were no employment opportunities on the island, which meant many families were separated as people had to go to the mainland to work. 90% of our staff come from Yaqeta or neighbouring islands, which brings much-needed income to the community.
Our ‘plantation to plate’ philosophy means that much of our fresh produce is sourced directly from the plantations on the island, thus creating further revenue for local families. As for the delicious seafood that we serve – that comes from island fishermen.
When it comes to protecting our natural surroundings some of our endeavours include minimizing and recycling all our plastic, offering water bottle refill stations and using paper straws in the bar.
All our food scraps are either composted, or collected by local pig farmers, while hot water for the resort is provided by solar power. Our non-recyclable waste is also sent back to the mainland each week, ensuring that Navutu has a zero-waste impact on the island.
The Lion Cub Foundation is an outreach program that was founded by Navutu Stars Resort in November 2008, after the premature death of one of our beloved staff, Leone, from Yaqeta Village. Leone was a warm-hearted man who cared for his family of three children, and also for the children of his late brother who had died in the previous August. Upon his death, his wife and his pregnant sister in law were left to care for eight children with no income whatsoever to support the young children’s education and their medical needs. Navutu Stars decided to create Lion Cubs to help them and other children from Yaqeta in need.
Lion Cubs receive regular medical checks by American doctors from the Loloma Foundation during the yearly Health Clinic hosted by Navutu Stars Resort. In the case of medical emergencies, we provide transport to and from the mainland for the sick child and a guardian, and pay for any medical expenses. We also help create a brighter future by purchasing school uniforms, stationery, books and by paying for school fees, including boarding fees until the end of high school. In addition, 70% of the children in Yaqeta have their stationery and uniforms purchased by the resort at the start of every school year. Navutu Stars also proudly sponsored the first two university graduates of Yaqeta Island.
The Lion Cub Foundation started with a donation from the Resort and now receives the help of its guests who have the chance to meet the Lion Cub children every Sunday when they come to the resort to sing, drink some juice and mingle with the Papalagi (Foreigners). The children love to be part of the group and are usually accompanied by all the children from the Sunday School and together bring much joyful laughter and curiosity.
For 15 years Navutu Stars has been collaborating with the Californian-based Loloma Foundation, which has a mission to provide sustainable medical, dental and infrastructure support to rural communities who would otherwise have no access to basic healthcare.
Each February the resort hosts the team of up to 20 doctors, who set up dental and medical clinics at the resort, offering free check-ups and basic healthcare. Teams of doctors also visit more remote islands to set up mobile health clinics, while screenings are conducted for surgical candidates to travel to Loloma home base at the Waiyevo Hospital in Taveuni in the spring.