Monday, November 28, 2005
In November 2005, MIC founding members Charles Chieng of the Yap Community Action Program and Margie Falanruw of the Yap Institute of Natural Science (left) requested a learning exchange to bring MIC member Wayne Andrew - Director of Palau's Helen Reef Resource Management Project (HRRMP) - to the island of Yap. Purpose of the exchange was to present Wayne's conservation work on remote atolls to the High Council of Traditional Chiefs of Yap’s outer islands -- the Council of Tamol. Some of the islands were in fact starting a Live Reef Fish Food Trade business and the MIC members hoped that Wayne's argument would make them reconsider the project. But what happened next surprised everyone. Impressed by Wayne's presentation, the Council decided while still at the meeting to establish a Conservation Area in the Ngulu atoll – the fourth largest atoll in the world. Now other chiefs are interested in creating conservation areas for their islands and asked Wayne to keep working with them on the implementation.