Simione Naivalu began volunteering at NatureFiji-MareqetiViti in September 2017, just after earning his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Environmental Science from the University of the South Pacific, where he majored in Biology, focusing on plants as well as animals. As an intern at NatureFiji-MareqetiViti, Simione’s primary effort was examining plant species, specifically identifying the types of land and other factors critical to their ability to survive. He was also a valuable team member on the Nanai campaign, and in conducting socio-economic surveys of the Nailega Village (in relation to degraded forests) and Navosa province (regarding local knowledge of climate change and REDD Plus).
While still a student, Simione volunteered on a variety of environmental projects: in the area of Marine Sciences, he helped with seaweed collection; in the area of geography, he assisted another student studying the topography of land areas in Nabukavesi; and in the field of geographic information systems (GIS), he conducted socio-economic surveys on Gau Island and in Nairai, mapping the information gathered.
Simone enjoyed gaining more practical field experience at NatureFiji-MareqetiViti, and hopes to later continue his studies toward a Master’s Degree.