POHNPEI, Lenger Island - July 2000
Assist in the establishment of the first community-led marine reserve in the Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei, one of the four Federated States of Micronesia, has an extensive lagoon which is home to over 900 species of fish and 400 species of coral. The Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP) is working closely with traditional leaders of Lenger Island, a highly visible site off of the Pohnpei mainland, to establish a community-led marine reserve. Seacology's grant has enabled the Lenger Island community to purchase a boat to transport equipment and assist with the surveying and monitoring of the marine reserve. The Lenger Island reserve is serving as a model and will lead to the establishment of many more community-led marine reserves throughout the Federated States of Micronesia.*
For more information regarding the Lenger Island Marine Reserve, please see the Spring 2001 Seacology newsletter.
UPDATE July 2004 - The boat was purchased in late 2000, and the marine reserve was formally dedicated in March 2001. Since that time, CSP has been actively involved in sponge farming as an alternative income-generating activity in the area. There are now three active sponge farms. The community is still helping to enforce the ban on fishing and combat poaching within the Lenger Island Marine Protected Area. In the last month, dive operators, CSP and the community worked together for a coastline clean-up day.
UPDATE September 2005 - In 2000 the Lenger Island Marine Protected Area was the first community-based marine protected area in Pohnpei. Since then, Lenger's successful model has encouraged other communities to establish their own mpas. As of September 2005 there are now eleven community-based marine protected areas in the federated states of Micronesia based on Lenger's model. With the help of the Conservation Society of Pohnpei, a network of community members from each MPA monitors their area, testing for the successful increase in fish and biomass diversity.