Nanumea Atoll

June 2008

Conservation benefit: Establishment of a two-acre lagoon-based mangrove nursery/reserve and planting of 1,000 mangrove seedlings along a one-kilometer (.62-mile) coastline for 10 years

Community benefit: Refurbishment of a handicraft center

This remote, small island nation is located in the South Pacific about 813 miles south of Tarawa, Kiribati and 638 miles north of Suva, Fiji. Its nine atolls have a total land area of under 10 square miles with the highest elevation above sea level of only 16 feet. A major threat to Tuvalu’s subsistence is the degradation of both land and marine resources. Sea level rise caused by climate change is a major contributor to this degradation and loss of biodiversity and natural resources.

Mangroves are an important resource here. They enhance local fisheries, provide material for handicrafts and firewood, and protect the islands from tidal and storm surge. The Tuvalu National Council of Women (TNCW) has long recognized the importance of mangroves and the need for better lagoon and coastal protection for Tuvalu’s small atoll islands.

TNCW, together with the Tuvalu Association of Non-Government Organizations (TANGO), has proposed an expansion project for the outer islands to replant mangroves and seedlings of Beauty Leaf Laurel in areas threatened by coastal erosion. Community members would like to refurbish their existing handicraft center by adding two rooms to use for training, meetings, and handicraft production. The project will also engage women and youth in planting a two-acre lagoon-based mangrove nursery/reserve. A one-kilometer stretch of coastline will be planted to protect the main village area on Nanumea.

Project Updates
January 2011
Executive Director Duane Silverstein and President Ken Murdock visited this project as part of a Zegrahm Expedition in September 2010. The handicraft center is completed and guests were able to...
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August 2010
The project contact reports that the handicraft center has started construction; the roof has been completed and the walls are halfway to completion. Remaining work includes the interior and other...
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February 2010
The project contact reports that women on the island have inspected the project site and found that some of the mangroves had been washed away by strong winds due to unusual high tides for this...
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July 2009
More than 1,000 mangrove seeds were collected from the Lakena islet and planted in a nursery established on Nanumea Atoll. More than fifty women from the community participated in the project and...
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June 2009
As of April 2009, project leaders sent in a detailed timeline and map and are anticipating the start of the project for mid-2009.

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