Island News from Samoa and Zanzibar
The project that originally launched Seacology took place in Falealupo, Samoa and has remained a wonderful example of Seacology's win-win strategy. In the early 1990s the Samoan government told this remote village that if they did not build a better school, teachers would be removed and their children would not be educated. Having no other source of revenue, the villagers sold logging rights to their rainforests. Before this could happen, however, Seacology co-founder and chairman Paul Cox worked with the village chiefs and raised the funds for the school in exchange for a covenant protecting the 30,000 acre rainforest. The Falealupo Rainforest School was constructed, and since that time Seacology has had a close relationship with the village.
|In 2006, Seacology provided another grant to Falealupo Village to restore the village's white sand beach that was destroyed in the tsunami waves generated by Hurricanes Ofa and Val. The white sand areas were covered with organic material from the hurricanes, and as a result weed-like trees grew and covered the area. In return for funds to restore the former village area and beach and build a small trail and observation platform, the village is preserving for 50 years the unique Falealupo wetland area which is home to threatened wild fowl species. As of December 2007 the project was coming to completion, with final structures being built.|
|On to Zanzibar, where Dr. Bakari S. Asseid of the Department of Commercial Crops, Fruits and Forestry of Zanzibar, Tanzania sent us a brief but informative report on recent news at the project site. They have just completed construction of one of the flying fox visitor centers at Kidike and have also completed installation of Flying Fox interpretive signs and trail construction at one of the nature trails at Kojani. Dr. Bakari Notes that their next step is to start constructing the second visitor center and begin developing informational materials and ecotourism initiatives in support of the Pemba Flying Fox community conservation campaign.|