Protection for the Yela Ka Forest

Earlier this month a historic occasion took place on Kosrae. The Yela Valley Ka forest, the last major Terminalia carolinensis forest in the world, is now protected by the first conservation easement in the Asia Pacific Region.

The Nature Conservancy helped the families who own the Yela Valley, a 1,400-acre valley encompassing the largest stand of Terminalia carolinensis trees in the world, several other endemic plant species and the endangered Micronesian pigeon organize the conservation easement which is funded by the U.S. Forest Service and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.

While conservation easements are relatively common in the United States, this is the first conservation easement outside of the Americas and Hawaii. This revolutionary land deal is also preserving the culture and traditions — the forest provides freshwater, fish from the rivers and traditional medicine. The trunk and immense buttresses of the ka tree were traditionally used to make ceremonial canoes, and the nuts are an edible treat. It is also an extremely valuable watershed, with almost no invasive species, which drains into one of the most productive reef areas on Kosrae.

Yela Valley Protected Area

Yela Valley Protected Area

The full Nature Conservancy press release is here: TNC Yela Press Release

It’s good to have good news,

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5 Responses to Protection for the Yela Ka Forest

  1. Carol says:

    Wonderful great news. Our visit there was fantastic and we got to meet some of the people involved in the wonderful project. The people of Kosrae are blessed to be able to preserve this wonderful treasure…

    • katrina says:

      Hi Carol,

      Yes, it really is terrific. And it’s the first in the region, maybe others will follow Kosrae’s example like they did with the Utwe Biosphere Reserve. It was a first also and now there are several biospheres in Micronesia protecting unique and valuable areas.