2 August 2012: The Nguna-Pele Marine and Land Protected Area network (NPMLPA) announced a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) established on 26 July 2012 by the community of Utanlangi on Nguna Island of Vanuatu. The MPA aims to protect vulnerable marine resources from overharvesting, invasive species, coral breakage by humans, pollution, coral bleaching and other threats.
According to NPMLPA, its staff has assessed the state of the reef in Utanlangi bay and led group discussions to help determine a management plan for the sustainable use of its marine resources. These discussions led to the writing of a management plan, the establishment of a conservation committee and the creation of the MPA, which covers half of Utanlangi bay on Nguna Island.
The NPMLPA network is a community-based organization with an “adaptive approach” to improving livelihoods, reducing poverty and sustainably managing natural resources by facilitating local initiatives in environmental education, climate change adaptation, waste management, renewable energy and eco-tourism, among other issues.