Efate, Vanuatu

Vanuatu is a small island republic in the South Pacific, situated 1,000 miles (1609 km) east of the north coast of Australia. Geographically, the republic is a volcanic archipelago: a strip of 82 small islands, created by volcanic activity. Only 14 of these small islands have a surface area of over 39 square miles (101 sq. km). The fourth largest island, Efate, is home to the country’s capital, Port Vila. The community is rebuilding after a string of natural disasters that hit in 2015: an earthquake, a volcanic eruption and a cyclone tore through the city in a matter of weeks. Despite frequent environmental events, the islands of Vanuatu support life within their tropical forests. Flying foxes (also known as fruit bats) are indigenous to the area. As they fly from tree to tree, feeding on pollen, nectar and fruit, they contribute to the pollination and dispersal of seeds that are essential for the regeneration of the forests after natural disasters.