The village of Fafanlap is located on the edge of the spectacular southeast Misool region of the Raja Ampat Archipelago. Three families in Fafanlap Village (as well as in Usaha Jaya Village) have traditional ownership of a vast marine area. The area has tremendous biodiversity, encompassing remote fringing coral reefs, seamounts, and fish-rich pelagic waters. They have already leased part of this area (90,440 acres) to the Misool Eco Resort as a no-take reserve for 25 years.
Now, the villagers have agreed to turn the marine waters they own around the Daram Islands into an additional 99,583-acre (40,300-hectare) no-take area for 14 years. According to Papuan tradition, an agreement is accepted only when benefits are spread out to everyone. The village leaders have determined that a community building would solidify support for the no-take zone among all the villagers. They will use the new community center for village meetings and events, as well as for a kindergarten.
Misool Eco Resort and WildAid, with support from the Walton Family Foundation, a major funder of the project, will help the villagers patrol the no-take area. Seacology is pleased to announce that this is the first project funded by our Sylvia Earle Marine Conservation Fund. This special fund is dedicated to Dr. Earle’s vision of a global network of marine protected areas.