Private Island News presents Seacology – a nonprofit environmental conservation organization dedicated to the preservation of island environments and ecology.
As well as forming luxurious travel destinations, private islands are also hotbeds of ecological activity, providing shelter for an array of rare flora and fauna, many species of which can be found nowhere else on Planet Earth. Indeed, island ecosystems account for 30% of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, with wildlife able to flourish thanks to a combination of favourable climate conditions and a lack of external predators.
The delicate balance of these valuable island ecosystems is under grave threat from both human activity and the increasing impact of global warming, however, placing many of vulnerable life-forms at the acute risk of extinction. The American biologist and ornithologist, Storrs Olson, even went as far as describingthe danger to island ecologies as “one of the swiftest and most profound biological catastrophes in the history of the earth.”
But whilst even the slightest disruption can have devastating consequences, the delicate balance can usually be restored, with island conservation efforts often producing incredible results in only a relatively short space of time. One organization aiming to make a positive difference is Seacology – a nonprofit environmental conservation organization dedicated to the preservation of island environments, island cultures, island ecology and island marine life.
Founded in 1990, Seacology has worked with 200 villages spread across 149 islands, protecting almost 2 million acres of vulnerable island land in the process. Working on the basis that environmental issues are human issues, Seacology believes that conversation works most effectively when all parties are motivated, and offers an incentive that benefits the community for every project they are involved in.
Because the organization’s projects rely so much on the locals to enforce the terms of the nature reserve, it takes a motivated community for a project to work. In return for agreeing to create a forest or marine reserve, Seacology offers villagers funds for a universally beneficial infrastructure project, such as a schoolhouse, a health clinic or whatever a particular community may be in need of.
As well as being inherently fair, the Seacology method is pehaps one of the world’s most effective attempts at conservation. According to Dr. John McCosker, a senior academic at California’s Academy of Sciences: “Dollar for dollar, pound for pound, Seacology gets more output than any conservation group that I’ve seen. They’re not giving money away, they’re not making grants, and they’re making deals.”
Seacology’s critical work to preserve the environments and cultures of islands throughout the world depends on the generosity of private donors – if you wish to find out more and get involved in this incredible organization, head over to www.seacology.org