SOURCE: Kosrae Visitors Bureau

Kosrae Visitors Bureau

June 11, 2009 23:32 ET

Update: Micronesian Island of Kosrae Works With the Nature Conservancy to Preserve World's Largest Remaining Ancient Ka Forest

TOFOL, KOSRAE, FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA--(Marketwire - June 11, 2009) - The Micronesian island of Kosrae is working with the Nature Conservancy and other groups -- the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Micronesian in-island Conservation (MIC), Micronesian Conservation Trust (MCT), European Union (EU), German LifeWeb, Global Greengrant Fund (GGF), Pacific Development and Conservation Trust (PDCT), to preserve the island's ancient stand of terminalia trees in the Yela Ka Forest.

In early 2009, three Kosrae conservation agencies -- the Yela Environment Landowners Authority (YELA), Kosrae Island Resource Management Authority (KIRMA), Kosrae Conservation and Safety Organization (KCSO) formally established a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen their collaborative partnership for a conservation easement to protect the Yela Ka Forest, its pristine watershed, and surrounding ecosystem.

According to YELA Project Manager William K. William, the Yela watershed is the largest and perhaps the most valuable intact landscape remaining in Kosrae. Left undisturbed, it will continue to provide a healthy mangrove forest, fish from its offshore waters and habitat for the endangered Micronesian pigeon that has few refuges on the island.

Island visitors can hike to see Kosrae's wild and undisturbed Yela Ka forest, which has the largest remaining stand of Terminalia carolinensis (locally known as Ka) in the world. Only Kosrae has large stands of Ka remaining. The Ka trees dominate the vegetation because of the characteristic water quality of the swamp and the length of time that it is flooded. The mangrove forest that borders the Yela Ka swamp is also relatively undisturbed.

According to Dr. Sean Austin of The Nature Conservancy, with this unique conservation project Kosrae is creating a workable model for the rest of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) to follow to preserve areas of biological significance. He added that the plan would be a significant contribution to the Micronesia Challenge, a Micronesia-wide commitment to preserve 20 percent of the forests and 30 percent of the reefs in Micronesia by 2020.

The Yela Environment Landowners Authority (YELA) was formed in 2006 with the goal of preserving the area. To learn more about the project, send an email to the Project Manager William K. William at

High-Resolution Photographs of Kosrae's Ancient Ka Forest Are Available:


Kosrae is an adventure and eco-traveler's paradise and an internationally acclaimed dive destination. It is one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), with a population of some 7,000 people. An island with majestic vertical elevations, Kosrae's lush green interior is surrounded by one of the world's most pristine reef systems and white coral beaches. To learn more about the many secrets of Kosrae, go to

Contact Information

    Dianne Newton-Shaw
    The Placemaking Group /representing the Kosrae Visitors Bureau
    510.496.2352, ext. 206
    Email Contact