SAMOA, Satapuala Village, Upolu Island - May 2009
Construction of a community hall for school and village functions, and upgrading the village water supply in exchange for the establishment of a 1,600-acre marine conservation area (240 acres no-take) for a minimum duration of 15 years
Satapuala is a coastal village on the north-western side of Upolu Island in Samoa. The village is a traditional village that was relocated in 1942 for the building of the current airport. The village has a population of over 2,000 people and is controlled by the traditional council of chiefs. The growing population has taken a toll on the marine resources, and a conservation program to establish rotating no-take zones within the village's marine area is anticipated to facilitate the regeneration of marine resources and marine biodiversity for subsistence and regulated commercial use for families. Seacology will fund a new community hall for school and village functions, and upgrade the village water supply system in exchange for the establishment of a 1,600-acre marine conservation area, 15 percent of which (240 acres) will be no-take. Approximately one acre of Rhizophora mangle mangrove forest will also be protected. The goal is to extend the no-take section of the marine reserve to 25 percent within 15 years. The rest of the area is to be managed in a sustainable manner following the Fisheries regulations regarding size of catches; and a ban on the use of illegal substances such as dynamite and cyanide.
UPDATE October 2009 - Construction of the community hall began at the end of September and was completed on October 9, 2009. The village held an official opening for the hall on October 16. Satapuala, at its August 2009 village council meeting, declared their marine area as a marine reserve and all villagers were asked to help monitor the new reserve. At this meeting the council also sought help from the Division of Fisheries to assist in finalizing a management plan for the reserve. This plan is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.
UPDATE May 2010 - As of May 2010 field representative Cedric Schuster reports that the village has set out the no-take zone and has updated the management plan for the marine reserve as well as submitted to the Division of Fisheries the Fisheries By-Laws for enactment.
UPDATE January 2011 - Construction of the community hall was completed in October 2009. In a final report submitted in December 2010, Seacology Field Representative Cedric Schuster reports that all villagers were asked to help in the monitoring of the marine reserve. The village council received assistance from the Division of Fisheries in finalizing a management plan for the reserve, as well as bylaws to legalize the no-take zone and provide training of villagers to monitor the area. The Management Plan for the protected area was developed and agreed-upon by the village council and the Fisheries Division. The final copy of the Management Plan and bylaws are now being finalized and incorporated into law by the Fisheries Division.