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Conservation benefit: Establishment of a 1,644-acre marine reserve as a permanent no-take area
Community benefit: Water storage and distribution system, and aquaculture and monitoring supplies

Date Approved: 02.2014

Ocean

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

The island of Parem is located about a mile from the capital island of Weno. It was a Japanese base during World War II, and remnants of aircraft, heavy artillery, anti-aircraft guns, and bunkers are still common sights in the tropical underbrush. There are seven villages, each of which has its own traditional authority structure headed by a chief or samon. With limited employment opportunities on the island, many community members look for jobs in Weno. Those who don’t work on Weno make a living by subsistence fishing and farming.

In 2011, concerned community members in Parem asked the Chuuk Conservation Society and its local partners to help them develop a community-based resource management project. The plan included establishing a permanent 665-hectare (1,644-acre) marine reserve. This site contains a high diversity of soft and hard coral, and is as a giant clam conservation area.

In return, Seacology is funding Parem’s first public water system. Community members will install water catchment units at the island’s traditional meeting halls. Seacology is also providing sponge farming and monitoring equipment for the protected area.

Project Updates

May 2016

Seacology sent the final installment of the grant in March, and the supplies and equipment necessary to finish the water system for all the villages on Parem have been ordered. The marine reserve remains protected.

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January 2016

Typhoon Maysak, which hit Chuuk in March 2015, caused long-lasting power and communication problems. Water tanks have been delivered to the island, and now must be connected to pipes. At a December 2015 meeting, community members and our partner organization, the Chuuk Conservation Society (CSS), decided how to use the funds to buy plumbing supplies and pumps to be shared among the water tanks. They are getting cost estimates and hope to complete the project by the end of February. The area remains under protection.

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January 2015

Parem Island, with the assistance of the Chuuk Conservation Society, has purchased a water storage and distribution system for the 14 clan meeting halls on the island. Solar-powered lights for the community have also been ordered. The Chuuk Conservation Society has met with the leadership of Parem, reef owners, and other stakeholders, who have shown great support in establishing their reef flats as no-take areas to reflect their partnership with Seacology. When all the equipment arrives, a meeting for the whole island is scheduled, to kick off expanded protection of their marine areas.

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