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To develop a society that works in the tropical pacific to preserve species, habitats and communities through the provision of sound science, establishment of programmes and advocating for legislative protection.
Our vision is to work in the Pacific, alongside the people and communities that have inhabited these remote islands for so long, working to assist in the understanding of the environment, the protection of vulnerable species and the preservation of habitat, so these remote islands can remain a very special place for people and nature.
How the Pacific Islands Conservation Initiative began:
After visiting and working in the Pacific for over a decade, I recognized the need for an agency to carry out small scale community work and research in areas that have not yet been addressed. Many small island communities have a very good understanding of their environment, particularly with how it relates to the people. However, sometimes they have questions that require scientific study to properly answer, and this where the Initiative hopes to be of assistance.
In 2002 I visited a remote island in the Pacific, Nassau, which is part of the Cook Islands. At that time the island was inhabited by 80 people, 43 of whom were children.
I was dropped there by the Cook Islands Maritime Patrol Vessel, Te Kukupa, in order to carry out a base line survey of the marine environment, with regards to a planned harbour development. This work was as remote and basic as it gets. No compressor was available so I was delivered to the island with 12 cylinders, equipment and food. Along with my equipment, the islands supplies were delivered. Freight to the island is sporadic and every opportuinty is taken to get food to the people.
The community was very special. They lived a communal, subsitance lifestyle with a quirky mix of modern life mixed in. The thing that was impressed upon me most was their connection to the environment (through a need for it to sustain them).
After my experience on Nassau, and a similar one on Mitiaro (200 people) the seed was planted to find a way to help these communities resolve some of their environmental issues, and in the meantime, preserve the wonderful habitat and ecology that these islands represent.
7 years later, the Pacific Islands Conservation Initiative has finally been developed to answer the many questions that are often asked.
By Steve Lyon, founder.
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