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The work of the Conflict Islands Conservation Initiative Trust (CICI) began in 2017 and it was established as a charitable trust in 2018 to garner financial, human and other support to protect and conserve the natural environment of the Coral Sea and The Conflict Islands group with its surrounding and connected marine habitat, in close partnership with The Coral Islands Ltd a Papua New Guinean business.  Continuing environmental crisis, including anthropocentric climate change and the unregulated, illegal harvesting of endangered turtles and sharks, led business owner Mr Ian Gowrie-Smith to conclude ” Doing nothing is simply no longer an option!”.

CICI works closely with communities to provide education, training and improve the conservation of marine ecosystems and associated species. Our efforts are accomplished through our broad range of programs and resources, none of which would be possible without the support of our local community, partners, and donors.

vision &purpose

Our purpose is:

  • To protect, conserve and enhance the natural environment, habitats and species of the Coral Sea with a particular emphasis on the area within and around the Conflict Islands region of Papua New Guinea (PNG), and the roles this region plays in its connectedness to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) through our joint sharing of the Coral Sea, and

  • To conduct research and education about the natural environment around the Conflict Islands and its connectedness through migratory marine species to the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea.

We want to achieve this purpose through continued enhancement of our conservation initiatives, including:

  • The conservation of endangered marine turtles, sharks and rays in the North Coral Sea, many of which are common and in some cases migratory between PNG and the GBR;

  • The conservation of coral reef habitat that are common to and have connectivity between PNG and the GBR;

  • The encouragement of marine biodiversity through the Coral Sea and in particular the potential to seed the northern reaches of the GBR from the Conflict Islands by protecting them;

  • Education, awareness, empowerment and training of local communities to protect their natural environments, including through beach clean-ups and the prevention of rubbish, particularly plastics, being disposed of in the ocean;

  • Implementation of Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAS’s), within the Coral Sea and the waters of Milne Bay

  • In line with the goals of the 2017 Commonwealth Blue Charter, the Blue Economy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), to work with local land and sea owners and the Governments of PNG and Australia for the sustainable use of ocean resources, whilst preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem.

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wherewe work

Our goals call for sustainable ecological and economic conservation and management arising from a concerted and passionate effort from all our affiliates and partners.

We work in partnership with a local PNG company, The Coral Islands (TCI), on the delivery of the conservation and education initiatives in the Conflict Islands. CICI plans to become a world-renowned conservation organisation.

Through powerful partnerships with governments, other organisations, local communities and universities CICI aims to reach our visions, as we strive to help meet the SDG. 


We can no longer ignore the human factor in in conservation and without community development we can not expect conservation initiatives to prosper. With our in country partners, The Coral Islands and the Conflict Island Resort, CICI implements community development projects, such as providing solar lighting to  communities, access to clean water, school marine programs and increased access to livelihood development. 

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