UNEP/CMS: Pacific Action Plan for the Year of the Dugong

A new pilot project using financial incentives to address direct hunting and the incidental capture of dugongs by changing people’s practices and improving the livelihoods of local communities are among the initiatives to be promoted under the Pacific Year of the Dugong 2011.

The campaign, launched March 14th 2011 in Palau by President Johnson Toribiong and Minister of Natural Resources, Environment & Tourism Harry Fritz, is a boost to the conservation of the mermaid-like sea cow and its seagrass habitats. Palau hosts the smallest, most remote and critically endangered dugong population in the region.

The initiative to protect the dugong, led by the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and its partner the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (UNEP/CMS), will target local coastal and fishing communities and water craft users in the Pacific region by showing that livelihoods and conservation are linked. [Read on]