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Conservation benefit: Establishment of the Dalipebinaw forest reserve

Community benefit: Restoration of Tamilyog Stone Path

Date Approved: 11.2002

Forest

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

The people of Yap, an isolated island state in the Pacific, have managed to keep their traditional culture relatively intact. Ceremonial stone money and long houses are still in use throughout the island. The Yapese have also preserved their islands’ natural resources. This project will protect both culture and nature.

One of the most notable remnants of traditional Yapese culture is the ancient Tamilyog Stone Path, which connects the eastern and western sides of the main island. Much of the path is overgrown, and some sections have been buried due to disuse and neglect. The Dalipebinaw municipality is setting aside 75 acres of native forest adjacent to the path as a protected reserve. In exchange, Seacology, in cooperation with the Yap Community Action Program, provided funding for the restoration of the stone path.

Yap is one of four states that make up the Federated States of Micronesia. It has a population of just 11,200. And its total land area is just 50 square miles–but it’s spread out over 100,000 square miles of ocean.

Project Updates

July 2007

While in Micronesia, Seacology Senior Program Manager Karen Peterson walked the path and found it well maintained. Local residents and visitors to the island alike use it regularly.

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July 2005

The Dalipebinaw community completed repairs to the path and is seeing vegetation grow back slowly. They are using the trail as a living classroom to teach young people about their natural environment. In March 2005, elementary school students from Palau visited Yap and the Tamilyog trail. They worked with Dalipebinaw students in teams to name and identify plants in their own language and list their traditional uses.

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January 2005

The Dalipebinaw community has reached an agreement with the Yap Visitors Bureau to earmark user fees from the path for its maintenance. In November, Charles Chieng reported that Yap is still “in recovery mode” after the typhoon, which adversely affected tourism.

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July 2004

The reconstruction of the Tamilyog stone path was completed in January 2004, and Seacology board member Gordon Radley represented Seacology at the dedication ceremony. In April, Typhoon Sudal seriously damaged the trail, destroying 98 percent of the tree canopy. Charles Chieng, the director of Yap Community Action Program, scheduled a community volunteer clean-up crew to clear the trail and assess the damage.

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