Seacology Funds Fishing Boats in Tafua
The Tafua peninsula is home to one of the most precious rain forests in the South Pacific. In the Tafua volcanic crater, rare Samoan flying foxes and the even rarer tooth-billed pigeon, found only in Samoa, can be easily watched. Seacology has funded trail construction, signs, and nature manuals for the Tafua Preserve and played the key role in helping the village initially establish the Tafua Rain Forest Preserve. Seacology also funded the Tafua Conservation Center, and through a generous donation from model Christie Brinkley, is in the process of helping the village restore the white sand beach to pre-hurricane conditions.
However, since Tafua villagers have voluntarily rejected significant logging income in order to protect the reserve and have strictly limited agricultural development in order to protect the forest, Seacology has sought for alternative ways to maintain the village economy. In a recent visit to Tafua, Seacology Chairman Paul Cox was told by Chief Ulu Taufa'asisina (Seacology Indigenous Conservationist of the Year for 1992) that the village was considering establishing a small cattle operation outside of the rain forest preserve. Concerned that cattle might eventually escape from the enclosures and create havoc in the forest preserve, Seacology negotiated an agreement with the village to fund acquisition of two fishing boats in return for a village promise not to introduce cattle to the village. The villagers are delighted to have the boats for off-shore fishing, and to also keep a watchful eye on protected reef areas and marine mammals near the preserve.