Coral Reef Alliance Launches Three-Year Project to Support Sustainable Growth and Reef Health in Madang, Papua New Guinea
CONTACT: Eileen Weckerle, Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL)
Phone: 1.415.834.0900 ext.315
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
San Francisco, CA - Tuesday, July 24, 2007 - Madang is poised for growth. Visitors from every corner of the world travel to experience its verdant hills and cerulean seas. Realizing its potential, the federal government has chosen Madang to be a Model Province Five-Year Tourism site. But can Madang accelerate tourism growth without destroying its habitats?
Over the past few years, the Madang Lagoon Association along with marine protected area managers have begun to establish locally managed marine protected areas-a key component in protecting marine habitats. Building on this groundswell of momentum, the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is launching a three-year project to assist Madang in making these protected areas effective.
CORAL has two recent staff additions to ensure project success: Bryan Dias as Western Pacific Program Manager and Michele Bowe as on-the-ground Field Representative. Dias's former experience as Reef Environmental Education Foundation's (REEF) Outreach and Education Director combined with a master's in International Environmental Policy makes him well suited to this position. In addition to managing Madang, Dias is also strengthening protected areas in Fiji and Raja Ampat, Indonesia. "By managing several sites in the same region, I can share lessons learned. I also bring managers from different sites together. These types of relationships not only support the individual areas but the region as a whole."
Bowe comes to CORAL from WWF, where she has been developing an eco-region conservation plan for Papua New Guinea. Bowe explains why she thinks this project is different. "With thirteen years in the field, CORAL has devised a proven model to build strong marine protected areas. Hallmarks of success include sustainable marine tourism businesses, financially independent protected areas, and conservation projects to reduce coral threats. However, CORAL also trains locals to be certified CORAL Leaders. This gives them the skills to train neighboring and future site managers to be effective as well."
This project was generously funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
With more than thirteen years of field experience, CORAL is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the health of coral reefs by uniting ecosystem management, sustainable tourism, and community partnerships. Find out more at www.coral.org.