Paddlers take on the bay during the Guam History and Chamorro Heritage Race on Feb. 25, 2018. Frank San Nicolas/PDN
Traditional knowledge used in a modern context can help conservation efforts in the Pacific, representatives from conservation organizations said.
A panel discussion, “Climate change impacts in Micronesia & Sustainability” was held at the Guam Museum Tuesday morning for the Pacific Preservation Summit. Six people from different organizations were part of the panel discussion.
Marathon of life
Mae Bruton-Adams, program manager with The Nature Conservancy, said some people think conservation organizations as adversaries, but that isn’t the case. She said just like a marathon runner who paces themselves during a race, conservation organizations make sure resources are preserved for the marathon of life.
Bruton-Adams said it’s important to conserve resources so the future generations will continue to have them.
“It’s about sustainability,” she said.
Bruton-Adams shared how conservation can actually work with development. For example, the organization has worked with insurance companies to reduce premiums for hotels that help in coral reef conservation. Healthy coral reefs can help protect hotels near the water, so it benefits hotels to be involved in its conservation, she said.
Mixing old with the new
She shared some examples of conservation efforts in Micronesia that mix traditional practices with modern ones.
Chuuk is using traditional closures of a reef area after someone of high rank dies and applying the practice to marine protected areas, she said. Applying a tradition to a modern concept helps people apply it and, in turn, the reefs are more diverse, she said.
Another example is the Okeanos Foundation, which is building canoes using traditional designs but with modern materials, like fiberglass, she said. Using traditional canoes cuts down fossil fuels being used traveling between islands and the carbon emissions from those boats.
‘It connects us’
Kodep Ogumoro-Uludong, from the Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance, said Okeanos has already started using canoes to bring goods between Saipan and Rota. Rota has had challenges with getting goods because of its harbor, so the traditional canoes have helped.
“It connects us back to our seafaring roots,” he said.
Ogumoro-Uludong shared how conservation efforts on Saipan also are helping students grow an interest in the field. He shared how youths from Tanapag Middle School are working with biologists to plant mangrove trees.
He said the school is acting as a pilot project for conservation activities and is hopeful the school system will support expanding it.
Source: Google News : http://www.guampdn.com/story/news/2018/02/27/traditional-knowledge-helps-conservation-efforts-pacific/375946002/