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Conservation benefit: Establishment of a 413-acre conservation area for 10 years

Community benefit: Renovation and upgrade of the village meeting house and reroofing of the health clinic in Muri Village

Date Approved: 01.2010


This project protects ocean ecosystems, making coastal communities more economically and physically secure in the face of climate change.

Muri is a popular holiday resort on south side of the beautiful island of Rarotonga. Many international visitors and Cook Islanders use its beach and lagoon for recreation. The area is threatened, however, by too much fishing.

The Muri community will declare 413 acres of the lagoon and surrounding area as a protected area for 10 years. Harvesting any coral, fish, marine mammals, birds, or mammals that live on the islet will be prohibited. The only exception will be the catching food fish for community use. Sand mining of the beach will also be prohibited.

The community requested support to upgrade their meeting house so it could be used for as a cyclone evacuation center, cultural arts center, gymnasium, and site for health care. Seacology, working with the Muri Environment Care Group, will help fund the renovation of the meeting house and health clinic.

Project Updates

September 2015

Field Representative Tuaine Tuara reports that the renovations are complete and that the community held its first market day, where local women could sell food and crafts, and hopes to operate daily. The hot water system is operating very well, which is especially appreciated by those who use the child welfare clinic and kitchen facilities. The leftover roofing iron was used to construct a shelter over the water station.

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July 2015

The framework for the shelter is complete. The roofing part is waiting for some dry weather; the Cook Islands have been unusually wet for the last few months.

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April 2015

Improvements to the building have begun. The hot water system and sliding door have been installed. All materials for the extension have been procured, but construction is delayed by the current wet weather. The project should be completed by the end of May.

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January 2015

Cook Islands Field Representative Tuaine Tuara visited the Muri community in August 2014 and observed that the building constructed with Seacology funds in 2010 is well-used, and is currently functioning as a community center, health clinic, and community police station. Village leaders wish to make improvements to the building to make it more functional and secure, and so that it can be used as a market for local women to sell produce and handicrafts. In return, the community has agreed to protect their 413-acre conservation area for an additional 10 years.

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January 2011

The main building has been used for community workshops and other village activities. The clinic is being fully utilized by nurses from the Ministry of Health. A volunteer caretaker is looking after both buildings as well as the water purifier. According to Allan Tuara, the community sends their appreciation to Seacology for the tremendous help in bringing these two centers back to what they used to be.

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August 2010

Field representative Allan Tuara reports that the center was officially opened on August 14, 2010 with over 100 people in attendance. The water purifying unit attached to the outside of the center is also now fully functional and clean water is readily available to the community free of charge.

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June 2010

Field representative Allan Tuara reports that the old toilets/bathrooms in the main hall have been demolished and new toilets/bathrooms to the rear side of the hall have been framed and lined with all water piping done. The ceiling to the main hall area has been reframed and partly lined and is awaiting completion of the wiring. Once the new wiring is installed then the ceiling in the main hall can be finished and the main hall painted. 60% of the interior and 95% of the exterior walls have been painted with new primer/sealer and are ready for new paint to be applied.

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