Turtle Island, Fiji

Distinction Winner - Other Travel and Tourism Sector

'It is our goal forTurtle Island to be recognised as the leading ecotourism resort in the world. Over the past 20 years, we've undertaken a number of unique and innovative programmes that set up apart from other resorts.'

Turtle Island is a remote destination in the South Pacific, part of the Yasawa Group of volcanic islands in the Republic of Fiji. The Resort, situated in the warm clear waters of Fiji, is host to only 14 couples at a time. It provides an individual thatched, hand-built, bure (accommodation) for every couple - cool and quiet cottages with windows opening onto the Blue Lagoon.

In order to preserve the environment of the Island, the owner, Richard Evanson, strove to become self-sufficient - including setting up a full workshop and a busy furniture factory turning out handmade pieces from local timber. There has also been a vigorous tree-planting scheme which has added more than 300,000 trees to the island during the past decade. The island has been placed under the control of a irrevocable trust which prohibits the sale of the island, limits the number of guests to 14 couples, and protects wildlife. In recent years Evanson has funded twice-yearly eye clinics providing free services and surgeries for neighbouring island villagers.

Turtle Island commissioned a 'cultural audit' in 1998, which aimed to examine the organisation within the context of its vision statement, and the economic, social and cultural impact of Turtle Island on the groups and individuals who make up the social fabric of the tikina and its surrounding areas. The audit is the first of its kind in the world, and has established new paradigms for operators with concerns about their social impacts.

q Waste Minimisation, reuse and recycling

+ Energy efficiency, conservation and management

Ø Management of fresh water resources

Û Waste Water Management

+ Hazardous substances

K Transport

H Land use planning and management

" Involving staff, customers and communities in environmental issues

À Design for sustainability

Y ' Partnerships for sustainable development

C Protection of air quality

O Noise Control

o Environmentally sensitive purchasing policy

Lisa Croucher

Operations Manager

Turtle Island