Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd. (CHICOP) is an award-winning private nature reserve that was developed from 1991 for the conservation and sustainable management of uninhabited Chumbe Island off Zanzibar, one of the last pristine coral islands in the region.
The reserve includes a fully protected Coral Reef Sanctuary and Forest Reserve that harbour rare wildlife, a Visitor and Education centre, a small eco-lodge, nature walks and historical monuments. All buildings and operations are based on state-of-the-art eco-technology aiming at zero impact on the environment (rainwater catchment, photovoltaic energy and solar water heating, composting toilets, vegetative greywater filtration etc.).
The company objectives are non-commercial, while operations follow commercial principles. The overall aim of CHICOP is to create a model of financially and ecologically sustainable park management, where ecotourism supports conservation, research and comprehensive Environmental Education programs for local schools and other benefits for local people.
In 2011, Chumbe Island became the first Global Ecosphere Retreat (GER) certified Long Run Destination through the Jochen Zeitz Foundation which means that Chumbe strives for the highest standards in sustainability through the balance of conservation and commerce, whilst fostering community development and cultural stewardship.
Chumbe’s sustainable management and promotion of key ecosystem services for the region has since been recognized on many levels, including being mentioned in the UN Secretary General’s report to the General Assembly on protection of coral reefs for sustainable livelihoods and development, which states: “A noted example for PES (Payment for Ecosystem Services) within the context of coral reefs habitat is the private, non-profit Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd (CHICOP) in Tanzania (2012).