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					                            Tetepare Watch
Volume 12                                                                    September 2007

TDA Helps Out Members Affected by Earthquake and Tsunami: from Island Sun
newspaper, August 15, 2007

Tetepare Descendants' Association (TDA) has received a small grant from the Manitoba Council
for International Cooperation, CUSO (both Canadian groups) and personal donations to help its
members recover after the devastating effects of the tsunami and earthquake in April 2007. The
                                                 grant money will be used to supplement
                                                 assistance provided by NDC and other aid
                                                 agencies.

                                                  TDA has over 2,500 registered members
                                                  throughout the Western province and some
                                                  descendant villages were severely hit. TDA
                                                  hopes to provide some of the building materials
                                                  needed to help members start to rebuild or
                                                  relocate homes affected by the disaster. This
                                                  support comes as a benefit of membership in
                                                  TDA and in recognition of the outstanding
                                                  efforts of its members in seeking to conserve
         House in Huda, Kolombangara              Tetepare Island.


Update: Assessment of all affected communities has just finished. Next week, a selection
team will decide how much and where our resources will be spent. The next step is to buy
supplies and get them back to the villages.


April's Earthquake – One Big Fella Shake Shake!!
The words earthquake and tsunami are now a part of everyday vocabulary here in the Western
Province. We all felt it and have suffered the after effects of it. However, few people really
understand what has happened and what has changed in our world. Some researchers from
America came to Tetepare and maybe some of your communities, and explained the earthquake
to staff here.
The earth is covered in a hard crust that is divided up into plates that are like puzzle pieces.
These pieces have land and water on them and they are many kilometres thick. Solomons Islands
lies between the Australia Plate and the Pacific plate. The Australia plate is going under the
Pacific plate this forms a trench or deep valley on the sea floor, close to Tetepare and Rendova.
It is one of the few places on earth where a populated land mass is so close to such a trench.
Most lie farther out to sea. As a result of the forces moving the earth plates Tetepare is uplifting
at about 6mm/year. This makes it one of the fastest rising places on earth, as well as Espiritu
Santo in Vanuatu.
Earthquakes are a sudden shift where two plates meet. This causes the ground to shake. The
shallower the center of the earthquake, the more shaking is felt on the surface. If the center of
an earthquake is under the sea floor a Tsunami is possible. The center of the underwater
earthquake that caused the tsunami on April 2, was found 10 km under the sea floor where two
plates meet. The power released by the movement of the plates travels along the sea floor until it
reached shallow waters where it formed a wave that can wash over the land. The wave gets
weaker the farther it travels from it center without reaching land, it may also bend and bounce
around land and reefoff builds and changes around islands and lagoons and other geographical
features. This is why Hopongo, which was very close to the center was not damaged too much by
the tsunami but Choiseul, Gizo and Simbo received more damage. Tetepare Island was pulled
downward by 35cm on the western side, which is where the field station is located. This sinking
gradually tapers off as you move south on the island and the far eastern tip has not moved.


                                                Record Setting Rain on Tetepare
                                                2007 has been the wettest month on Tetepare since
                                                the rangers began recording rainfall data in 2003.
                                                So far this year we have had 4 months with over
                                                500mm of rain. In July 1200mm of rain fell on
                                                Tetepare Island, that is nearly double the highest
                                                monthly average recorded between 2003-2006.
                                                All this rain has been falling on the landslides
                                                caused by the earthquakes in April. The runoff
                                                from the landslides and the rivers have put a lot of
                                                sediment into the lagoons surrounding Tetepare.
                                                The effect so far has been to lessen the waters
                                                clarity. The reduced clarity has forced Tourists
                                                visiting Tetepare to go along the outer edges of the
                                                reef for the exceptional snorkling Tetepare is
           Landslide at Soe Passage             known for. The increased sediment input onto the
                                                reef may also effects on the health of the coral
                                                itself as well as fish populations. Coral rely on
sunlight to live and the increase of sediment may block some of the sunlight they require. TDA's
Marine Monitors collect visibility data during their reef surveys and will be monitoring the coral
health to determine the effects of 2007s' record setting rain.

TDA MEMBERSHIP GROWS
6 members of TDA's staff have had new babies in 2007. 4 TDA Rangers; Hobete Ghau, Adam
Kivu, Kennedy Soapi and Banau James each had Boys. 2 TDA cooks; Patricia James and Dhal
Margh also had babies. Congratulations to all the new parents! TDA looks forward to
contributions made by these future members.

Scholarship applications will be available          Did you hear the story of Tetepare on
from your executive member and with all             SIBC ??? Allan, Jeanine and Mike
regional representatives after the AGM. Get         were interviewed in June and their
your applications for secondary and tertiary        stories were broadcast on the evening
scholarships and last years school reports in       programs in July and August
to the TDA office by January 20th, 2008.
        AGM will be in November
Recovery of Queen Havilla's Satellite
Transmitter
Last Christmas, a nesting leatherback turtle
nicknamed “Queen Havilla” was given a special
job. She was outfitted with a little backpack that
sent signals to a satellite, so that scientists could
monitor her movements. Other turtles from the
Solomon Islands have been tracked to Hawaii and
California in their yearly migration from nesting
grounds to feeding grounds. Unfortunately, a
local man decided to cut off the backpack when
she returned ten days later to nest on a Baniata
beach. Concerned communities informed the local
authorities and a case was opened.
Last month, with the aid of a TDA ranger, RAMSI             RAMSI, Munda police and TDA rangers
officers and Munda police succeeded in                      helped to recover the satellite backpack
recovering the transmitter from the resident of
Retavo village on Rendova. As the transmitter was
still beeping its location to anyone with a receiver it was quite easy to locate! The stolen property
was sent back to NOAA in the United States so that any information on it could be retrieved.
The backpack itself remains as evidence in the capable hands of the police in Munda.

Old Canadian Warden Uniforms Worn Again
This article taken from the Waterton Boundary newspaper, Alberta, Canada July 21, 2007

                                                 Parks Canada staff have been gradually changing
                                                 over to a consistent and flattering new uniform.
                                                 But what to do with all the old ones hanging in
                                                 the closet? The wardens of Jasper, Waterton,
                                                 Banff and Prince Albert have found a worthy
                                                 cause half way around the world, in the Solomon
                                                 Islands.

                                                 There, the staff of a fledgling community
                                                 conservation organization called the Tetepare
                                                 Descendants' Association is proudly sporting the
                                                 khaki and green uniform of a Parks Canada
                                                 warden. Granted the shoulder flashes are off and
  Marine monitors, Jeanine and Camas on steps    the pants have been cut into shorts, but the
              of the field station               rangers, guides and marine monitors of TDA
                                                 wear them well.

The staff and surrounding communities are working to protect the resources of Tetepare Island,
the largest uninhabited tropical island in the world. Just northeast of Australia, it is 120-square-
kilometres of verdant jungle with aquamarine lagoons and fringing reefs, where populations of
dugong, leatherback turtles and estuarine crocodiles reside. The staff monitor populations of
coconut crabs, sea cucumbers and lobsters, protect sea turtles nesting sites, contact hunters and
fishermen and keep track of harvest details. In their new uniforms, they present a professional
image to villagers to whom conservation has sometimes been a hard sell.

The D'Antonio family, Mike, Jeanine and three year old Camas, are CUSO volunteers, on leave
                                            from Parks Canada, advising TDA's program. That
                                            position description covers everything from writing
                                            management plans, making mud stoves and
                                            installing solar systems to relocating leatherback
                                            turtle nests above the encroaching high tide line.
                                            Recently, the job has also meant becoming involved
                                            with the relief effort after the April earthquake and
                                            tsunami in the Solomon Islands.

                                            TDA's receipt of old warden uniforms is part of a
                                            bigger donation program that Parks Canada is
                                            spearheading. Through ties with the International
                                            Ranger Federation, Canadian wardens are recycling
                                            old uniforms to less affluent conservation groups all
           TDA Staff in uniform             over the world. A ranger in Kenya, a marine monitor
                                            in the Solomons, a warden in Canada; the job and the
                                            look are the same.

SELL YOUR NGALI NUTS TO TDA!!!
TDA's Sustainable Livelihood Program has
started in full force this Ngali nut season. We
have made a partnership with Marghoto
Consulting Local Food Shop in Honiara and he
is interested in buying as many motu ngali nuts
as you can collect from under your trees. To
start the business TDA trained women from
Rendova communities in finance and small
business management last November. Now
these women are TDA contacts in their
communities for ngali nut collection points.
Our system should work the same as copra
where one person collects all the nuts from all
the producers in her village, scales them and
pays for them. Then, when there is over 10 kgs
of nuts ready in one place, she radios Tetepare
for pick up. TDA then pays this woman for the           Mary Bea and Ruth Lilo scaling nuts in
                                                                    Bangopingo
nuts, and ships them to Marghoto in Honiara.
Until we can get scales and cash boxes into the villages, TDA staff will handle all scaling and
transactions. After Rendova's program is working well we will expand to include other
communities in the West with a buying center is Gizo as well. After that, we'll tackle the export
market and make the rest of the world want to eat ngali nuts!




                              Tetepare Island viewed from Rava Point

				
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