January 2008

Conservation benefit: Establishment of a 2,965-acre forest protected area for 10 years

Community benefit: Renovation of community water tanks, purchase of household waste bins, and construction of paths and handrails

Mitiaro is one of the southern islands of the Cook Islands group, with a population of 318, located on the western coast in four closely grouped villages. Most of the island is about four feet above sea level, and the seepage of salt water into the water table has rendered groundwater brackish and unfit for human consumption.

Seacology is funding the renovation of the communities’ eight 10,000-gallon water tanks, which currently leak and have minimal water-holding capabilities. Seacology is also providing 60 household waste bins to help curtail littering and support the island’s waste disposal and management program, as well as funding the construction of steps and handrails to better access two water caves. In exchange, the Mitiaro communities will declare 2,965 acres of their island as a conservation area for 10 years, including all areas where two rare and endemic endangered species survive, the Ā’i sandalwood and Mitiaro fan palm.

Project Updates
January 2018
This maintenance project has been finished. Field representative Tuaine Tuara reports that the eight community water tanks have been repaired and that the handrails to the cave pools have been...
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January 2017
The handrails in the caves have not yet been replaced, because the island’s only welding equipment is being repaired--requiring that parts be obtained and shipped to this remote outer island.
May 2016
All of the community water tanks have been repaired. The handrails to the two water pools in the caves should be replaced by summer 2016.
January 2016
Seacology has approved a maintenance grant for replacement of hand railings at cave pools and re-roofing four of the eight water tanks, in exchange for extended protection of the 2,965-acre forest...
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April 2015
Cook Islands Field Representative Tuaine Tuara visited the village and reports that she is impressed with the community's strict monitoring and management of the protected forest area. Island...
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June 2009
This project was completed in April 2009. All eight refurbished tanks are full and have excellent water-holding capacity. Recent rain on the island has provided the much-needed water for the...
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January 2009
As of November 2008, six of eight of the water tanks were fully renovated. Field representative Allan Tuara visited the site in November 2008 and attended a closing ceremony. Due to water...
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June 2008
As of late May 2008, project leaders were working on correcting the shipping delays for the remaining materials needed to complete the water tank restoration. While they were waiting for needed...
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May 2008
As of April 2008, the project was pending a start date due to lack of transportation options to ship materials to the site. Cement was transported but other materials are delayed until another...
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