VANUATU, Dip Point, Wakon Community, West Ambrym, Malampa Province - June 2006
Construction of a community hall in exchange for the preservation of a no-take 25-acre marine reserve and 667-acre terrestrial reserve for the duration of 10 years
Wakon has a population of about 31 people and is located on the west coast of Ambrym. With assistance from a local NGO, the Wan Tok Environment Centre, the Wakon community has set aside an area covering 692 acres as the Wakon Conservation Area to preserve terrestrial species, mainly the approximately 30 species of local birds. The conservation area also covers a brackish sea lake and surrounding very steep hills covered with dry forest, as well as a coastal area along Dip Point which it is famous for its marine biodiversity. In exchange for preserving the conservation area for a minimum of 10 years, Seacology will provide funds for a community hall and water tank for the Wakon community. *
UPDATE January 2007 - Construction was completed in October 2006 and an opening ceremony was held on November 27, 2006. The ceremony was attended by field representative Kevin Tari, the Chairman of Council of Chiefs and the area Council Secretary.
UPDATE June 2007 - The building is now being used by villagers for community activities and as a guest house for visitors. As of May 2007 the marine protected area remains strictly observed. Villagers have had some difficulty protecting the terrestrial reserve from cattle entering the reserve when water in other areas is less available. They are discussing possible solutions in mid-2007.
UPDATE June 2008 - As of April 2008 the conservation site remains strictly observed and the community hall remains in good condition.