Tuvalu Funafuti Conservation Area
The Funafuti Conservation Area (FCA) covers 33 square kilometers of water and land on the western side of the Atoll. It includes reef, lagoon, channel, ocean and islands habitats. There are six uninhabited islets with native broadleaf forest and coral sand beaches are located within the protected area and are home to coconut crabs, nesting seabirds and turtles. A variety of colourful fish can easily be seen through the clear blue lagoon while coral reefs and bommies provide for excellent snorkeling and scuba diving
The Conservation Area includes lagoon, reef, channel, ocean and island habitats. The waters of the conservation area are home to many species of fish, corals, algae and invertebrates. The islets within the area contain 40% of the remaining native broadleaf forest on Funafuti atoll, are home to significant seabird populations and are nesting sites for the green turtle. The following islets are included in the Conservation Area.
1. Tepuka Savilivili
Why do we need a Conservation Area?
The marine resources of Funafuti lagoon as well as seabirds and coconut crabs found on the surrounding islets have always been an important source of food for the people living here. However, over the past 20 years these resources have declined due to over harvesting and damage to near shore reefs from fishing nets and from pollution.
As Funafuti is the capital city of Tuvalu, many people from other Tuvalu island communities now also live and work here. Today there are over 4000 people who want to harvest the fish, crabs, and birds of the lagoon for food or to generate income and whose rubbish and pollution effect the lagoon.
Our important natural resources will vanish if we do not protect, conserve and manage them properly. Therefore;
Fishing, collecting of birds, crabs and turtles and
disturbing of the environment is prohibited within the Conservation Area.
The benefits of a Conservation Area.
»Diverse biological resources such as fish, corals, birds, turtles, crabs and plants are protected within this area.
»Fish will have a chance to reproduce and grow big before they move out into the lagoon for the fishermen to catch.
»Fish protected inside the area will grow big and be able to produce many eggs, which will float out into the lagoon and grow up on the fishing grounds to supply us with more fish.
»Visitors and people living on Funafuti can enjoy picnicking, sightseeing and swimming in the beautiful conservation area.
The Funafuti Conservation Area Project
The Funafuti Conservation Area Project began in mid 1996, under the administration of the Funafuti Town Council and with funding from the South Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP). The project is one of 17 Pacific Island country conservation areas, which are funded under SPREP's South Pacific Biodiversity Conservation Programme (SPBCP). The aim of the Funafuti Conservation Area Project is to:
Conserve the marine and land based biodiversity
(plants, animals and ecosystems) of Funafuti atoll based on the sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of the Funafuti community and their
The goal of this project will be achieved through the development of a Conservation Area within which animals are protected from harvesting and all habitats are protected form harm. Local people and visitors will be able to enjoy this area while the development of sustainable income generating activities may benefit the community and provide for future management.
Management and regulation of the Conservation Area
The people who own land within the Conservation Area, the Falekaupule, the Funafuti Town Council and the Government of Tuvalu have agreed to protect the natural resources within the Conservation Area to allow the populations of animals to increase and contribute to the biodiversity of Funafuti atoll. There are three steps in this management process:
1. Fishing, hunting and collecting of animals and marine plants and destruction of habitats by any people is prohibited with the Conservation Area at the present time. This is enforced under the Tuvalu Conservation Areas ACT and the Funafuti Conservation Area By-Laws.
2. Baseline surveys and monitoring programs will be initiated in order to keep watch on the resources and assess their status so that this information can be used for making management decisions; and
3. A Management plan will be developed by the Conservation Area Project Officer together with the people of Funafuti (see information sheet 2). This plan will provide information on what activities are allowed in the area and how income generating activities and sustainable use of the area are to be implemented and managed.
Who is responsible for protecting and managing the Conservation Area?
All people living on Funafuti atoll are responsible for protecting our resources through out fishing or collecting animals from the Conservation Area. Any person can assist with management of the Conservation Area by informing those people who are not aware of the regulations for the Conservation Area and by reporting people who are not taking notice of the regulations. People can also become involved in community resources management projects, which help to conserve our environment. The Funafuti Town Council has primary responsibilities for managing the Conservation Area and is assisted by SPREP, the Tuvaluan Government and the people living on Funafuti.