(Stone Town, Zanzibar, December 2019) — Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd., the world’s first financially self-sustaining marine protected area (MPA) was named the winner of the “Best in Supporting Conservation Award” at the Zanzibar Tourism Awards held on 4 December 2019 and presented by Honourable Mohamed Abed, Zanzibar Minister of State. The award “recognizes significant role players in overall contributions in support of greater good for tourism conservation.”
The project operates as a not-for-profit enterprise, where all revenue generated by a small high-end, close to zero-impact eco-lodge on the island (7 bungalows) is reinvested into the conservation management of the park and extensive education programmes for local school children and communities. Since 1994, CHICOP has succeeded in developing Chumbe Island into a fully ecologically, socially and financially sustainable enterprise, providing high-quality services to visitors while conserving biodiversity and promoting environmental awareness.
Chumbe Island operates under three key pillars of Conservation, Education and Ecotourism with an aim to (a) effectively and sustainably manage its Coral Reef Sanctuary and Forest Reserve in order to maximize contribution to biodiversity conservation, (b) serve as a model for effective ecotourism and marine park management, and (c) promote wider environmental awareness for sustainable development and ecological stewardship in Zanzibar.
Through effective management in cooperation with local communities, the project has achieved that (1) Chumbe has one of the most diverse coral reefs in the region, with 214 species of marine invertebrates and 59 genera of hard corals, providing habitat to over 508 recorded marine fish species and supporting sustainable fisheries beyond the marine park, (2) the Forest Reserve is one of the last undisturbed ‘coral rag’ forests in Zanzibar and sanctuary to the highly endangered Aders’ duikers (Cephalophus adersi) recognized on the IUCN red list, as well as to the rare Coconut crab (Birgus latro), (3) Roseate terns (Sterna dougalli) bred on Chumbe in 1994, 2006, 2012 and 2017, attracted by abundant fish in the Reef Sanctuary.
About Chumbe Island
Chumbe Island is an internationally acclaimed privately established and managed conservation area, hosting a fully protected coral reef sanctuary and forest reserve. As a not-for-profit enterprise, the revenue generated by eco-tourism on the island funds all conservation management and supports Chumbe’s extensive environmental education programmes with local schools and communities in Zanzibar. Operational for more than 25 years, Chumbe is the world’s first financially self-sustaining marine protected area.
Ulli Kloiber, Conservation and Education Manager: ulli(at)chumbeisland(dot)com