(eTN) – Sibylle Riedmiller of Chumbe Island Coral Park Limited, yesterday passed information that their work towards the maintenance and protection of the Chumbe coral reefs have now been recognized by none other than the UN Secretary General in his report to the General Assembly, where Chumbe is singled out for their extraordinary efforts and achievements since 1995. Said Sibylle in an email to this correspondent yesterday:
“I found that my investment and project for the last 20 years, Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd., is featured there as a model case under the heading, “The role of national legislation in protecting coral reefs (including importance of inclusion of indigenous/local communities),” on Page 21, and it says:
“’81. A noted example for PES within the context of coral reefs habitat is the private, nonprofit Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd. (CHICOP) in Tanzania. The government of Zanzibar established a protected area around the island and its fringing coral reef in 1994 and gave the management rights to CHICOP, which is responsible for implementing the CHICOP Management Plans 1995-2016.’ (Note: PES is “Payment for Ecosystem Services,” an incentive-based mechanism to support biodiversity protection and conservation measures.)
“WOW, isn’t this the highest recognition one can get on this globe ;o)?
“And this comes as a total surprise, we cannot remember any correspondence from our side that got us into this report; this is totally independent recognition from the international conservation community.
“Now, knowing that ‘you cannot be a prophet in your own country,’ as the saying goes, not sure whether this high-profile recognition for marine conservation may be useful when dealing with the Tanzanian government, and that I can thus serve TATONA and similar initiatives better in this capacity?”
Chumbe’s success story is an affirmation that individual efforts to protect our planet’s fragile ecosystems, in particular those without high-profile supporters and high-profile recognized voices, can in fact yield extraordinary results and play a crucial role in protecting biodiversity, well under the radar of officialdom as it seems. Find the full report through the link displayed below to better understand the challenges Chumbe’s protection work had to overcome and is faced with, but meanwhile it is a hearty congrats to Sibylle and the team at Chumbe Island for a job well done over the past 20 years and all the best for the future of course.