Tetepare Descendants’ Association (TDA) officially represents the legal owners of Tetepare Island, the largest uninhabited island in the tropical Pacific and one of the last remaining unlogged tropical islands in world. To resist pressures from industrial logging companies, the association has created ‘community conservation agreements’ whereby indigenous landholders are provided with alternative livelihood opportunities in exchange for a commitment to the sustainable management of marine and forest resources. The association carries out terrestrial and biological monitoring. A marine protected area has been established as a permanent no-take zone, serving as a nursery and refuge for fish.
Fish abundance has grown substantially, as have local incomes. Individual species such as coconut crabs, certain species of sea grass, giant clams, and endangered sea turtles are targeted through tailored community protection measures. The association also operates a community ecotourism enterprise, which centers on an eco-lodge that provides jobs for community members. Training has also been provided in coconut oil production, marketing, and agriculture. A scholarship program has been established to enable local youth to pursue high education, trade school, and vocational training.