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Conservation benefit: 32-acre no-take marine reserve and 300-acre terrestrial reserve for 10 years

Community benefit: Completion of a kindergarten building and equipment

Date Approved: 01.2006


This project protects forest, preventing the release of greenhouse gases and reducing erosion that damages coastal and ocean ecosystems.


This project protects mangroves, which trap more CO2 than any other kind of forest and as a result, slow global warming.


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


This project protects seagrass, which traps more CO2 than any other marine ecosystem, slowing global warming.

Marou is the largest village on Emau Island, with a population of about 1,000. In 2003, the village chief and community set up the Marou Community Conservation Area. A variety of fish, turtles, clams, shells, sea cucumber, crabs, and corals live in the marine reserve. It’s also an ideal place for dugongs, marine mammals closely related to manatees. The Marou community is willing to preserve their 32-acre marine reserve for at least ten years. They will set aside a 300-acre terrestrial area as well.

In exchange, Seacology will fund the completion of a kindergarten. The village will also use a Seacology grant to buy equipment for monitoring the protected area.

Project Updates

May 2015

Category-5 Cyclone Pam caused severe damage across Vanuatu in March. It caused only minor damage to the Seacology-funded building, which stood up well and was used as an emergency shelter.

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August 2009

Senior Program Officer Karen Peterson visited this project in June 2009. She reports that the kindergarten is in really good shape and is actively used. The community built the kindergarten themselves and has maintained it carefully. Marou appeared to her to be very serious about its MPA. It was also very clear that the conservation efforts are multi-generational, with young men playing an active role in monitoring and enforcement.

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June 2008

The Village extended the boundary of the marine protected area in September 2007 after launching their MPA management plan. The building is in good condition.

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January 2007

Construction of the kindergarten building was completed in May 2006 and an opening ceremony was held in September 2006. Vanuatu Field Representative Kevin Tari reported that the community is respecting and observing the marine and terrestrial reserves and are reporting to him that they are already seeing new fish in the protected area as well as increased numbers of sea cucumbers.

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June 2006

Construction was nearing completion at the end of April 2006. Final construction stages of roofing and window placement were scheduled for early May 2006. Vanuatu Field Representative Kevin Tari reports that the community is respecting and observing the marine and terrestrial reserves.

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