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Conservation benefit: Protection of a 15-acre pristine upland forest as a no-take area in perpetuity

Community benefit: Community hall, water tanks, and toilets

Date Approved: 07.2010


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

The Chunuf forest area is a top conservation target for the island state of Chuuk  and is part of the West Fefen Area of Biodiversity Significance. It has also been a sacred area for generations. The forest is home to several endangered and threatened bird, plant, and tree species. The Onongoch community (population 400) on Fefen Island has, with traditional practices and chiefly taboos, conserved the forest for many years. Now it wants the government to officially recognize the forest as a conservation area. The Chuuk Conservation Society is helping to create a management plan for the new forest reserve.

Seacology is funding the construction of a meeting hall with office space. The village will also use grant funds to install 10 500-gallon water tanks and 10 toilets for the neediest members of the community. The community has agreed to protect 15 acres of pristine upland forest as a no-take area in perpetuity.

Project Updates

November 2015

There was some delay in getting a new water tank to the island—low tides, rough seas—but the tank and other building supplies eventually got there, and repairs were completed in summer 2015. The community’s final report praised the “generous hearts” of Seacology donors and said, “We cannot thank you enough.”

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May 2015

In late March 2015, Typhoon Maysak hammered Chuuk, damaging the water tanks and community hall Seacology had funded in 2010. We approved a small grant so the community could make repairs.

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June 2011

First phase of construction was completed and the second tranche of funds were transferred in March 2011. The renovation of the community hall and upstairs office is completed except for finishing work. Toilet bowls and necessities will be distributed and installed by the end of April 2011. Ten water catchments have already been paid for but are awaiting shipment to Chuuk by the local vendor. The conservation work is progressing and members of the community help to patrol the area, maintain the land and care for trees.

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January 2011

As of January 2011, renovation is almost completed – floor, roofing, and beams have been renovated, and the extension with office space will be completed by the end of January 2011.

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Full or partial funding for this project provided by Seacology Scandinavia.