YAP, Dalipebinaw - November 2002
Establish the Dalipebinaw forest reserve and restore the Tamilyog Stone Path
Yap is one of four states that comprise the Federated States of Micronesia. It has a population of 11,200 with a total land area of 50 square miles, spread out over 100,000 square miles of ocean. Yap has managed to keep its traditional culture relatively intact, with stone money and long houses still in use throughout the island. One of the most notable remnants of traditional Yapese culture is the ancient Tamilyog Stone Path, which connects the eastern and western sides of the island. Much of the Tamilyog Stone Path was overgrown and some sections were buried due to disuse and neglect. The Dalipebinaw municipality is setting aside 75 acres of native forest adjacent to the path as a protected reserve. In exchange for this sacrifice, Seacology, in cooperation with the Yap Community Action Program, provided the funding for the restoration of the Tamilyog Stone Path.
UPDATE July 2004 - The reconstruction of the Tamilyog stone path was completed in January 2004 with Seacology board member Gordon Radley representing Seacology during the dedication ceremony. In April Typhoon Sudal caused significant damage to the trail when it hit Yap . Canopy cover was 98 percent destroyed. Charles Chieng , the director of Yap Community Action Program, scheduled a community volunteer clean-up crew to clear the trail and help assess the damage.
UPDATE January 2005 - The Dalipebinaw Community has reached an agreement with the Yap Visitors Bureau whereby user fees from the path will be earmarked for its maintenance. In November, Charles Chieng reported that Yap is still "in recovery mode" after the typhoon, which has adversely affected tourism.
UPDATE July 2005 - The Dalipebinaw community completed repairs to the path and is seeing vegetation grow back slowly. The trail is being used as a living classroom for young people to learn about their natural environment. In March 2005, an elementary school from Palau visited Yap and the Tamilyog trail, where they worked together with Dalipebinaw students in teams to name and identify plants in their own language and list their traditional uses.
UPDATE July 2007 - After her site visits in Micronesia, Seacology Senior Program Officer Karen Peterson reports that she walked the path and found that it has been well maintained. It is still well-used by locals and visitors to the island alike.