At KokoMana, we believe that ecotourism - including agro-ecotourism - can contribute to economic growth and livelihoods in a sustainable manner - that respects local culture and values, while protecting the natural environment.
We are active members of the Duavata Sustainable Tourism Collective, whose members share a commitment to tourism that enhances cultural heritage and the environment.
In our own operations, including the farm and factory tours, we emphasize respect for the environment and conservation of biodiversity. We use rainwater that we collect from our own buildings for drinking and washing-up. We use solar-heated water for domestic use and the factory is well insulated and double-glazed to conserve energy. Waste heat from cooling the factory is used as a supplement to sun-drying, to dry our cocoa beans. We avoid single-use plastics and we use environmentally friendly detergents and cleaning products whenever possible - though food safety regulations and covid-related health protection measures sometimes require us to compromise on this and use disposable or otherwise environmentally unfriendly materials. Our chocolate products are packed in biodegradable cellophane and paper.
We continuously review our procedures and processes to identify ways to improve in this area - because we believe that sustainability is a journey of discovery and improvement.
As part of our outreach effort, we are working with the community of Vusaratu on the Natewa Peninsula to help them to develop Ecotours - which highlight and help them to protect the unique biodiversity of their rainforest land and the pristine coral reefs of Natewa Bay.
In this effort, we are working closely with a number of partners, including NatureFiji/MareqetiViti (Fiji's leading conservation organization) and OceanVentures Fiji (a unique dive operation on Natewa Bay that focuses on reef conservation and environmental education).
The reforestation effort in this area is led by Fiji's Ministry of Forestry, working with the Pacific Community (SPC) under the auspices of the UNDP-funded Ridge-to-Reef project, which has supported the construction of a Visitor Centre, including a butterfly house and forestry nursery (see photo, at right).
The butterfly house, which KokoMana helps to manage, highlights local butterfly diversity and supports the conservation of the unique Natewa swallowtail. This conservation effort is supported by a grant from the UK-based Swallowtail and Birdwing Butterfly Trust to NatureFiji/MareqetiViti.