June 2010 Archives

Seacology Project Updates

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Seacology is currently supporting almost 200 projects on islands around the world. Below, we have updates on two of our recent projects. Visit our website to see news on all Seacology's projects.

Pemba Island, Tanzania - Infrastructure and trail development, information and marketing materials, and ecotourism initiatives for community conservation of the Pemba flying fox.

Off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa, the island of Pemba is part of the Zanzibar archipelago. The island is home to the endemic Pemba flying fox, a threatened species found nowhere else on the planet. The fox is threatened by loss of their forest habitat and by hunting. With Seacology's support, the Pemba community is promoting conservation of the fox and its habitat. Project components include a new tourist information center, signage, trails, and a tour guide program. The project is also promoting ecotourism and alternative livelihood ventures that include basketry, pottery, and bead making. The Seacology project has inspired other conservation programs in nearby communities on Pemba. We are optimistic that with so many efforts, the Pemba flying fox population will remain healthy for years to come. 

Umbu Langang, Sumba Island, Indonesia - Freshwater system in support of the protection of 7,414 acres of rainforest and savannah for a minimum duration of 10 years

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On Indonesia's Sumba Island, Seacology is working with Umbu Langang Village to protect over 7,000 acres of rainforest and savannah. The protected area borders Manupeu Tanadaru National Park, which contains rare sandalwood habitat for several endemic frog, butterfly, reptile, and bird species. Umbu Langang borders the park, and has agreed not to expand their farms, protecting 5,931 acres of forest and 1,483 acres of mixed savannah. Seacology originally agreed to support the village's conservation efforts with a critically needed fresh water system. When that project was completed under budget, Seacology approved the remaining funds to be used for a "living kitchen," or community garden, which will be supported in the dry season with the new fresh water system.

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As of June 2010, the fresh water systems continues to run smoothly and provide many benefits to the village. Additionally, 100 village women are involved in the "living kitchen," farming small plots of land near their homes and adjacent to the fresh water pipes. Many of these women are on their second plantings, and many of the vegetables have flourished, including cauliflower, water spinach, tomatoes, and chilies. Villagers report that routine patrols are being conducted in the national park. Although there was once instance of monkeys being trapped, the conflict was resolved and the rangers are continuing to patrol with vigilance.


Caribbean Karen!

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Seacology's Senior Program Officer, Karen Peterson, recently traveled to the Caribbean to meet with Seacology's Field Representatives in the region. Below, she shares stories and pictures from her trip.

Late April is the close of the dry season in the Caribbean.  Water rationing and brush fires are common.  This year, the region was drier than ever after typical occasional rains between December and Easter never occurred. 

Grenada is located in the southeastern Caribbean, close to Venezuela.  Its land area of 133 square miles is home to approximately 100,000 people.  The island is known for its rugged landscape, beautiful historic capitol city of St. George's and colorful, laid-back atmosphere.  I traveled to Grenada as Seacology's Senior Program Officer to meet with our field representative for the island, Tyrone Buckmire.  Tyrone has made a long career in conservation, education, human services, education and ecotourism, and is Secretary/Executive Director for the Grenada Fund for Conservation, Inc.  Tyrone is one of four Seacology field representatives in the Caribbean region, all of whom were hired in 2009: the other reps are Mykl Clovis in Antigua, Krishna Desai in Jamaica, and Lenin Riquelme in Panama.  Seacology staff is thrilled about launching new island projects in the Caribbean.

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World Oceans Day

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Happy World Oceans Day, everyone!

From food, to weather, to biodiversity, to beauty, the ocean is unparalleled in its importance to humans and all life on Earth. In 2009, the United Nations designated June 8 as an international day to celebrate oceans and all they provide for us.

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Do you think travel can make the world a better place? Is it possible to make a positive contribution to a community just by visiting? 

With our global scope, Seacology is a big fan of travel. Our board members, supporters, and staff frequently travel to islands around the world to visit Seacology project sites and meet with communities we've helped.

Now, Seacology has teamed up with Trazzler, an online travel website that recommends personalized travel experiences to its users. Trazzler allows you to submit personal, one-of-a-kind trip descriptions, and then share and suggest them to other Trazzler users. Trazzler promotes Smart Travel--trips that are more than just a visit, but instead allow you to truly explore the world around you as an active, rather than passive, traveler. Trazzler believes that travel can be a good thing in the world--that it can make the planet a better place to live, and make us more conscientious people and global citizens.

Seacology is helping Trazzler put this idea to the test. Trazzler users can enter the Smart Travel contest and submit their own trips. Two lucky winners will be selected to join Seacology on an ecotourism adventure to swim with humpback whales in South Pacific island of Tonga. Tonga is one of the few locations in the world where humans can swim with humpback whales. The 10-day trip will begin in Nuku'alofa, Tonga's capital and continue north to the Ha'apai island group, where travelers will have the opportunity to swim with humpback whales. In addition to up-close whale encounters, the trip will include opportunities for snorkeling and several night dives amidst Tonga's pristine coral reefs--and a visit to the Seacology project in the Ha'apai islands, where Seacology is establishing a marine reserve.

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So what do you think--can travel make us better people? Join Trazzler today and share your life-changing trip experiences in the Smart Travel contest! 


Image from Wikimedia Commons