Noah Idechong is a consultant for the Northern Reefs Fisheries Project in the Republic of Palau. Idechong used his Pew fellowship to review Palau’s evolving resource management methods and to formulate and test strategies for shaping new local fishery management systems based on a combination of traditional and modern practices. The small nation’s conservation management methods are neither traditional nor purely Western, so management issues are complex and are further complicated by changing values and political systems. Idechong examined these changes to determine legal avenues and cost-effective ways to manage marine resources using traditional conservation values in combination with sound science. Idechong and colleagues at the Palau Conservation Society (PCS) developed new marine conservation plans and legislation for marine reserves, no-take zones, and periodic closures of fishing areas. They also worked to improve the enforcement of fishing regulations by convening village leaders with local government officials to discuss strategies. Finally, Idechong and PCS designed new economic alternatives to traditional fishing, a method that has surpassed sustainable capacity. To this end, PCS teamed with the Nature Conservancy to design and launch a sport-fishing project that trains local fishers as guides and provides support for the development of ecotourism. The initiative has already provided new income to offset losses from specific areas that were closed due to overfishing.
To learn more about Idechong, visit his bio online: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah_Idechong.