Environment and Sustainability

Turtle Island is located in the central Yasawas, surrounded by seven villages on three separate islands, in the local government area known as the Nacula Tikina.  There is no history of any Fijian villages on Turtle Island.Rich in culture, Turtle Island and its surrounding islands have resisted any temptation for over-development. There are no high-rises or tennis courts. No airfields or shopping malls. No televisions or billboards. Just unspoiled natural beauty and the gentle rhythm of the tides.

After a few days, most guests realize that real pleasures here go beyond what the eye can see.  As written so insightfully by Antoine Saint-Exupery, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Situated on the shores of the Blue Lagoon, and overlooking its poetic island neighbors, Turtle Island has been a beacon of light in its environmental stewardship and its adoption of sustainable tourism practices.

Richard’s mantra for the development of the island has always been guided by the filter of the quadruple bottom line. Decisions and developments undertaken must make financial sense, have environmental integrity, benefit the local people, and celebrate the heritage and culture of place.

Turtle Island is pre-eminent worldwide for its sustainable tourism practices, as reflected in its award in 2000 as the Green Hotelier of the Year from the International Hotels and Restaurants Association. This award recognized the innovative initiatives that Turtle Island undertakes in the areas of education, health care, and employment for local people.


- Many of these initiatives continue as part of Turtle Island’s commitment to provide real tangible benefits for local people. Richard has always believed that you obtain your license to do business from your local community, not from government.In addition, as part of an intensive reforestation program over the last 40 years, over 500,000 trees, 100,000 of which are Mahogany, have been planted on the island. The trees encourage ecological biodiversity, re-establish indigenous forests, prevent soil erosion, create windbreaks, and add to the natural beauty.

In addition, our five-acre vegetable and herb garden, tended by three full-time staff, provides the island chefs with fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, and spices daily. Excess produce is provided to local villages.

Environmental and cultural audits have been regularly undertaken by independent research houses and academics, to ensure that the impact of Turtle Island on the local community and the island itself is measured and is positive.

In 1999 the environmental auditor concluded that “Turtle Island is a precious gift of nature and something to be treasured and protected.”