About the Pacific Islands Conservation Initiative
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.
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.
How the PICI will acheive this
The Pacific Islands Conservation Initiative will develop
projects in a number of ways.
1. Developing its own projects as members become
aware of needs in the environment.
As the Pacific is a remote and sparsely populated
region there are many environmental and ecological phenomenon
that have yet to be researched. If we identify an area in need
of research, or if a collaborator wishes to conduct research with
us, we will establish a project to carry out that work. An example
of this is the Cook Islands Turtle Project.
2. Answering requests from communities in developing
scientific responses to problems of a conservation nature.
If we hear there is a group that has questions to
ask about their environment, we will work with them to identifiy
exactly what it is they are trying to find out, then develop a
project to answer that question. An example of this would be if
a group wanted to know why the clams in their lagoon were getting
smaller and smaller. We would respond by identifying what the
most likely issue is, creating a research project and finding
some colaborative researchers to take up the challenge.
3. Working with other regional, international and
government organisations to achieve common goals in conservation.
How the Pacific Islands Conservation Initiative began
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.
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).
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
By Steve Lyon, founder.