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Palau

Ebiil Channel

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Conservation benefit: Support for Ebiil Channel Marine Conservation Area

Community benefit: Equipment and training for local rangers monitoring the conservation area

Date Approved: 07.2001

Ocean

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

The island nation of Palau is famous for its coral reefs and incredibly diverse sea life. In 2000, Seacology funded demarcation buoys and training for rangers for the newly created Ngemai Marine Conservation Area. The project proved highly successful and inspired other villages to create their own marine conservation areas. The recently established Ebiil Channel Marine Conservation Area is 15 times larger than Ngemai’s. It is the most important grouper aggregation site in Palau. As in the Ngemai conservation area, harvesting fish will be prohibited in the Ebiil marine reserve.

Though the Ebiil Channel Marine Conservation Area is now legally established, the community lacks the resources needed to make the conservation area a reality. With Seacology’s support, the Palau Conservation Society (PCS) has worked with the local village to buy 13 demarcation buoys, equipment for a patrol boat, and appropriate signage. PCS is also facilitating the training of two rangers from the local community to monitor the conservation area.

Project Updates

July 2007

After her site visits in Micronesia, Seacology Senior Program Officer Karen Peterson reports that PCS director Tiare Holme stated that protection for the Ebiil Channel Marine Conservation Area, which was due to expire in 2006, has been extended in perpetuity.

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July 2005

The Ebiil Society continues to work with local communities to manage the area, implement conservation education, and record traditional knowledge about reef species and habitats. Palau Conservation Society (PCS) also uses this site to demonstrate the ability to restore biodiversity through conservation. Community members report a ripple effect increase in the variety of fish in the surrounding marine areas just outside the conservation area.

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July 2004

The legislature met in early 2003 and voted to extend the Ebiil Channel Marine Conservation Area for another three years as a no-take area. The Ebiil Society was formed as a community-based organization comprised of fishermen, teachers and others dedicated to the conservation of Ebiil Channel. They are working with local communities to implement conservation education, record traditional knowledge about reef species and habitats and to create a map of the northern reefs area documenting all known traditional place names.

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