Signs of Island Conservation in Action

An integral final step to many of Seacology's projects is for the island villages to erect a sign.  This is a lovely acknowledgment of Seacology's partnership with island communities, but it also is a symbol of one of Seacology's most important philosophies.  I cannot possibly articulate it as well as Dr. John McCosker, senior scientist for the California Academy of Sciences:

"Dollar for dollar, pound for pound, Seacology gets more output than any conservation group that I've seen. They're not giving money away, they're not making grants, they're making deals."

These signs act as an important reminder to the communities that the needed infrastructure we provide is not a handout; it is part of a trade-off in recognition of a commitment to conservation of their precious natural resources.

I thought I'd post photos of some of these signs.

madagascar_mangoro_sign.jpgThe sign at left is on one of 11 schools in Madagascar's Mangoro region that received Seacology-funded repairs in exchange for community agreements to protect the last remaining habitat of the Mangoro Flying Fox.  Due to hunting for bushmeat, uncontrolled fires and logging, just a few pockets of forest remain as roosts for these large bats. 

Seacology is also funding repairs to local municipal offices, and an educational component, with a conservation art competition scheduled to begin in early 2008.  The winning artists will be awarded by members of the Seacology 2008 expedition to Madagascar and South Africa.  Information on this trip can be found here.  Click here for more information regarding the Mangoro project.

Takutea_sign.jpg The sign to the right can be found on the exterior of a geriatric unit funded by Seacology on the island of Atiu in the Cook Islands of Polynesia.  Takutea is an uninhabited 297-acre island located nine miles northwest of Atiu in the Cook Islands Group. The island is owned by the people of Atiu Island. Seacology has funded the construction of a housing ward for the community's elderly residents. In exchange, Atiu islanders will declare Takutea Island a wildlife sanctuary for 20 years. For more information about this project, please click here.

The sign on the left demarcates a fringing forest reserve at Saubeba and Warmandi Villages, Indonesia. More than sixty percent of the villagers have never had any formal education and less than three percent reach senior high school. The two villages are in close proximity to a globally important strip of beach that is known to host the largest remaining population of the highly endangered leatherback turtle. Seacology has provided scholarship funding to enable five students to attend junior high school, five students to attend senior high school or technical school, and three students to attend teachers college. In exchange for scholarships, with the assistance of WWF Indonesia, Sorong, the villages have agreed to protect a total of 2,471-acres of no-take Leatherback turtle nesting beach and fringing forest reserve.  For more information, click here.


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This page contains a single entry by Karen Peterson published on December 17, 2007 2:54 PM.

Junior Philanthropy: Seacology's Youngest Donors was the previous entry in this blog.

Real or Fake? That is the Question is the next entry in this blog.

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