We’ve expanded our work in the coral triangle by partnering up with the Coral Sea Foundation to fund the Sea Women of Melanesia (SWoM) program in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea. This region has some of the highest marine biodiversity in the eastern Coral Triangle, and it forms the northern border of the Coral Sea.
The Project: The (SWoM) program provides indigenous women with training in conservation theory, scuba diving and marine biology survey techniques so they have the skills to communicate the need for marine reserves to their local communities and are able to identify areas suitable for marine protected areas on their own coral reefs.
Aim: To hold a dedicated two-week training program for 10 Sea Women of Melanesia at the CICI facility in the Louisiade Archipelago towards the end of 2019. The focus would be on women from island communities the Milne Bay province, and the objectives would be to deliver these women a training program that covered fish and coral identification, marine survey techniques, LMMA theory, and guidelines for community engagement.
Outcomes: The training program for the Sea Women of Melanesia exceeding our original aims:
- 30 taking part in the training (10 planned). Seventeen Sea Women being trained (10 planned) from 7 different communities and 20 men from local clan and government (unplanned) which signals wide community support of the program.
- 14 new LMMA areas (8 planned) across both Engineer and Deboyne island groups mapped in Google Earth in consultation with clan leaders and ward members.
- Development of the promotional video with the inclusion of the UCF logo as a partner. The video link is below:
Meet the participants of our 1st training program below.