Seacology was founded in 1991 by ethnobotanist Paul Alan Cox and his wife Barbara. Its projects have helped protect mangrove forests, sea turtles, dugongs, and one of the rarest primates in the world: the Hainan black crested gibbon. The organization helps support island communities by fostering ecotourism, and has helped raise emergency funds following destructive tsunamis.
About Seacology in brief
Seacology was founded in 1991 by ethnobotanist Paul Alan Cox and his wife Barbara in 1991 resulting from his efforts to preserve 30,000 acres of rainforest outside the village of Falealupo on the island of Savai’i in Samoa. By 2020, Seacology had initiated more than 320 projects globally, and helped preserve 760,879 acres of marine habitat and 579,700 acres of terrestrial habitat. Their projects have helped protect mangrove forests, sea turtles, dugongs, and one of the rarest primates in the world: the Hainan black crested gibbon. The organization helps support island communities by fostering ecotourism, and has helped raise emergency funds following destructive tsunamis and other natural disasters. Its budget is modest, and it does not compensate its board members. It has won awards from Yahoo! and Travel + Leisure magazine,. It has been featured in the music video \”What About Now\” by the American rock band Daughtry. It is a nonprofit 501 charitable organization headquartered in Berkeley, California, that works to preserve island ecosystems and cultures around the world. It also awards an annual Seacologist Prize to indigenous islanders for their efforts in conservation and cultural preservation. It was established by Cox, along with Bill Marré, Ken Murdock, and Duane Silverstein, in 1991, and is based at the University of California, Berkeley, with offices in Berkeley and in San Francisco. It currently has more than 2,000 members. Its main focus is projects in which villagers sign contracts under which they agree to help protect either terrestrial or marine habitat for a specified time in return for new buildings or services.
The operations are low-cost, averaging around US$20,000 to USD 25,000. It does not pay any salaries to its members, but it does pay them a small amount for their time and expertise. It provides educational materials, vital medical services, and environmental training. It helps support local people on islands like those in Fiji, the Philippines, and many others, such as Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and the Philippines. Its work has also helped protect the rare Haina black crests gibbon, a rare and endangered species of primate, from being wiped out in many parts of the world by habitat loss and over-exploitation. It’s also helped raise funds for the U.S. National Cancer Institute and Brigham Young University to ensure that the Samoans will share in any commercial development of the drug Prostratin, which was isolated in a local mamala tree. In return for their cooperation, the Samoan government will share the revenue for new drugs with local villages and the Prime Minister of Samoa. In 1988, the government of Samoan Samoa agreed to pay the village $1.5 million to protect the rainforest when the forest was threatened when the government pressured the village to pay for a new school. Cox set up royalty agreements with the government to ensure the rain forest would be protected.