Empowering Melanesian women with marine conservation skills. The Sea Women of Melanesia program empowers indigenous women with scuba diving and marine science skills so they can take an active role in creating and monitoring marine protected areas on their own coral reefs.
Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Australia
The aim of the Sea Women of Melanesia and our partner organization the Coral Sea Foundation is to raise awareness of the ecological and social value of the Coral Sea and Eastern Coral Triangle and to be proactive in its sustainable management. Combining an ethos of science, gender equity, and sustainability, the Sea Women of Melanesia work with traditional landowners to develop marine reserves that enhance fisheries and biodiversity while improving the basic quality of life of people in our partner villages through the delivery of humanitarian aid.
The Sea Women of Melanesia training program empowers indigenous women with the education, skills, and resources they need to take an active role in raising awareness around, creating, and monitoring marine protected areas of coral reefs. The women are actively engaged in marine conservation activities at 6 locations across Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. To date over 30 women have been trained through the program, and it has led to more than 20 new marine reserve areas being proposed and surveyed in high conservation-value locations in the coral triangle marine biodiversity hotspot.