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Our Work

At the heart of our mission, the passionate team behind the Conservation and Community Initiative (CICI) is deeply committed to fostering meaningful change for our planet. We extend an enthusiastic invitation for you to delve into the depths of our conservation efforts. As you explore our diverse array of programs, you'll gain insight into our unwavering dedication to safeguarding the pristine beauty and unparalleled biodiversity of the Conflict Islands. Join us on this inspiring journey to understand more about our mission—a mission that transcends mere conservation to embody the protection and revival of this untouched paradise. Discover how, together, we can make a lasting difference for future generations, ensuring the splendor of the Conflict Islands remains vibrant and thriving.




163k+ babies released

2000 turtles tagged

472 turtles saved from poachers

CICI’s ongoing Turtle Conservation Program is designed to monitor and protect nesting turtles and their eggs on the Conflict Island Atoll & encompasses the atoll's 21 islands, 22 km away from the base and hatchery at Panasesa Island. Data collected through this long term turtle monitoring program contributes to a better understanding of turtle populations and habitat dynamics, & to inform future conservation strategies nationally and internationally. 

It is imperative to highlight the critical importance of conserving our turtles, particularly green and hawksbill turtles, which utilize these pristine shores as key nesting grounds. Despite their ecological significance, sea turtles face a myriad of threats on the Conflict Islands, including habitat loss, poaching, pollution, and climate change.



116 manta rays identified

112 surveys

19 melanistic mantas found

CICI is conducting research on manta and devil rays in the Conflict Islands Atoll & is working to identify new manta aggregation sites, improve the regional database, study migration patterns, raise awareness about conservation, and assist in sustainable tourism management by working with Government to develop Code of Conduct for Tourism Operators. This includes delving further into a research involving genetic sampling to test connectivity and satellite tagging of individuals which will allow us to clearly track their movements, activities and allow for planning of essential conservation management strategies whilst continuing to build our photo database.

Coral Reefs



12 fixed coral monitoring sites

200+ coral frags growing

12 indigenous rangers trained 

Corals for Conflicts project has been implemented as a comprehensive coral reef monitoring project to evaluate the ongoing changes in our reefs amidst the current bleaching events. Through CICI's reef surveys, our rangers gather vital information about the coral reefs health over time and pinpoint heavily affected areas within the atoll that have experienced severe bleaching. This will facilitate targeted reef recovery and restoration efforts in these locations to safeguard our local reefs, dive sites, and prevent species extinction. CICI has established in-situ coral nurseries to cultivate heat-tolerant corals for transplantation to areas of previously damaged reef, enhancing their natural resilience to future coral bleaching events

Epaulette Shark


23 individuals sighted

smallest just 33cms

Hemiscyllium michaeli spp

"WHERE THEY WALK" was initiated to set a baseline dataset for walking sharks in The Conflict Islands through a partnership with Conservation Nation and Ph.D. candidate Jess Blakeway. This project is centered around gathering data on endemic Epaulette sharks and was sparked by Jess's encounter with the species during a diving expedition in 2018 while volunteering in the Conflict Islands Conservation Initiative’s program. Sustaining this initiative is a key focus for CICI, offering chances to provide training and education to local communities.

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Shark and rays
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8 endangered species observed

9 rangers trained in survey methods

22+ species of sharks & rays found

In the vast expanse of the Coral Sea and Papua New Guinea, a significant data gap exists concerning shark and ray species. A comprehensive and quantitative study has been lacking, leaving a crucial knowledge void. Despite this, sporadic sightings and incidental encounters, documented through methods like Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV), have revealed the presence of several endangered or critically endangered species. Among these sightings are majestic creatures such as the Bow Mouth Guitarfish, Thresher Shark, Great Hammerhead, and Whale Shark. These encounters underscore the urgent need for systematic and sustained research efforts to better understand and protect these vulnerable marine species in the region.

Marine Debris


54,942 plastic items removed

4500+ kilograms removed

156 kilometers of beach covered

CICI organizes beach clean-ups across all 21 islands in the Atoll. Utilizing the open-source AMDI App from the Tangaroa Blue Foundation to track CICI's efforts and to monitor our marine debris audits. Since 2019, we have successfully cleared 4 tonnes of marine debris from our turtle nesting beaches, enhancing the health of the marine ecosystem. The AMDI App enables us to monitor the quantity of items collected, the hours spent on cleanup, and the distance of beach cleaned during each session, offering crucial data for managing our protected area.

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Solwara Meri


4 trained in scuba diving

8 solwara meri rangers

4 different communities

The CICI Solwara Meri Ranger Program stands out as a unique and impactful initiative, specifically designed to uplift women from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds by involving them in the stewardship of their marine environment. "Solwara Meri," which translates to "Ocean Women" in Tok Pisin, underscores the program's commitment to empowering these women through specialized training in marine conservation. This innovative approach not only fosters gender equality within conservation efforts but also taps into the distinctive insights and experiences of local women. By doing so, the program significantly contributes to the preservation of marine biodiversity, encourages the sustainable use of ocean resources, and strengthens community resilience against environmental challenges, making a profound difference in the lives of these women and their communities.

Indigenous Ranges


13 trained in scuba diving

42 trained in marine conservation

14 in full time employemnt

CICI's Indigenous Ranger Program is a pioneering initiative in PNG, aimed at empowering local indigenous communities to become stewards of their own land and sea. Through this program, individuals are trained and equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to actively manage and protect their natural resources. By engaging directly with their ancestral lands, these Rangers play a crucial role in conservation efforts, preserving biodiversity, and fostering sustainable practices that benefit both their communities and the environment for generations to come.

Community Programs
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6 Partner Communities

15 Rangers trained

5 islands protected

By promoting gender equality and actively supporting the development of community-based conservation programs, CICI empowers both men and women who are passionate about conservation. Through this empowerment, community members become leaders in guiding their own resource management efforts in directions that best suit their needs and priorities, ensuring maximum benefits for their people and the environment.

Community Development


2000+ mensural kits, educational supplies & solar lights

Water, sanitation and solar power program

500+ books and donation's delivered

CICI's community development programs are intricately crafted to elevate island communities' well-being while promoting sustainability. Through initiatives that enhance health, education, and overall quality of life, CICI ensures a harmonious coexistence with nature. By fostering environmentally friendly practices, these programs not only improve living conditions but also safeguard local wildlife and biodiversity.

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Rserach and Monitoing


8 years consecutive monitoring

4 Phd's supported

In addition to policy advocacy, CICI spearheads conservation research and monitoring efforts to fill critical knowledge gaps in marine biodiversity. Empowering all our rangers and community through powerful relevant education they progress with benefits thank exponentially grow and replicate.  Through innovative research methods and partnerships with scientific institutions, CICI conducts comprehensive studies to better understand the ecological dynamics of the Coral Sea and Papua New Guinea. By monitoring key indicators of ecosystem health and species abundance, CICI provides valuable data to inform conservation strategies and facilitate evidence-based decision-making at local, national, and international levels.

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