Tetepare is the largest uninhabited island in the South Pacific and one of the last remaining unlogged islands in the Solomon Islands. Untouched since the mid-1800s, Tetepare harbors 12,000 ha of pristine rainforest and fringing reefs with some of the highest coral and reef fish diversity on earth. Although scientists continue to discover new species on the island, it plays host to at least 73 bird species, 24 reptile, 4 frog, and 13 mammal species, including several rare bat species, three turtle species (including the critically endangered Leatherback turtle) and one endemic bird, the Tetepare white-eye (Zosterops kulambangrae tetiparius). The island is currently managed and protected by its traditional owners through a landowner group (the Tetepare Descendents Association, TDA) which was formed to protect the island and its surrounding waters from development.
The community’s commitment to conservation is buttressed by an agreement in which TDA is provided with a scholarship program and other benefits in exchange for strict compliance with the community’s pledge to conserve. Although an unquestioned conservation success, the threat from logging and other development activities continues. Accordingly, the future protection of the island depends critically on a sustainable source of outside funding for conservation and community benefits.
Funding is sought to develop an adaptive conservation management plan for the protection of Tetepare. Our proposed development team includes two researchers with extensive experience working in the Solomon Islands and a long history of association with the Tetepare project. A VCA-compliant plan for Tetepare will build on the solid foundation of effort that has been invested in the project over the years, including existing baseline data collection, its monitoring and patrolling protocols and performance indicators and the extensive community support and participation that has been part and parcel of the island’s conservation.
We are seeking support for the design the plan and the associated audit in order to become a Registered VCA. To explore opportunities for supporting the Tetpare Community Conservation Agreement, please contact the Earthmind office.