The new pilot project to protect dugongs is one of several initiatives being promoted under the 2011 Year of the Dugong in the Indian Ocean, South East Asia, and Pacific Islands.
14 March 2011: A new pilot project using financial incentives to address direct hunting and accidental capture of dugongs was launched in Palau under the 2011 Year of the Dugong campaign. The initiative is led by the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).
The project aims to foster sustainable and long-term dugong protection by improving the economic livelihoods of local communities, and thereby increasing community participation in environmental stewardship, and changing their practices.
The initiative falls under the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)/CMS Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs and their Habitats throughout their Range (Dugong MoU). The MoU provides the framework for regional cooperation for the long-term protection of dugongs in the Indian Ocean, South East Asia, South Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands. It will fund at least five projects across the Indian Ocean, South East Asia, South Asia, and Pacific Islands regions from 2011-2013. [CMS Press Release] [SPREP Statement]