This project aims to achieve a healthy, resilient reef system while also providing food security to the island community and boosting tourism revenue through direct partnerships with people on the ground who are committed to protecting their natural environment. Your contribution will help provide the technical and financial resources to local island communities with the traditional knowledge, ability, and desire to manage their resources sustainably.
The states of Ngarchelong and Kayangel, who co-manage one of the largest coral reef systems in Palau, have seen drastic declines in their coral reefs and nearshore fisheries despite their management efforts over two decades. Island communities have a desire to have healthy, resilient reef systems; however, they need technical and financial resources to significantly ramp up the capacity to monitor and boost reef health, promote tourism, and achieve food security for the community.
Island conservationists want to develop the expertise to use rich data from reef imaging technology to communicate observed changes to their community so as to make better decisions around reef health, and for tourism marketing. Local leadership of the reef imaging project, ongoing training, and supplementing imaging data with fish count surveys will help achieve our joint conservation goals of healthier reefs, which will help ensure food security.
The potential long term impact of these efforts is the attainment of healthy reef systems that are stewarded by island communities who are food secure and are able to attract tourism that is sustainable for the long term. This is expected to have a ripple effect in the broader Micronesia region, enabling us to scale our conservation efforts across island states faster. This will result in numerous communities achieving their vision of healthy reef systems and food security.