Location and Site Description of Utwe Biosphere Reserve

Location and Site Description of Utwe Biosphere Reserve

Kosrae State is the eastern most state in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), about 5 degrees north latitude and 163 degrees east longtitude. With an area of 42.3 square miles, it is the second largest single island in FSM and the population is 6,616 (2010 census report). On its southwest corner, the Utwe Biosphere Reserve (UBR) is located.

The UBR encompass significant areas of lagoon, reef, magrove, swamp, and river and stream habitats. The total area is 1772.6 ha. (app. 17 square kilometer). The UBR is divided into three subdivisions to better insulate it from human impacts. First, there is a core zone, and its objective is to preserve and prohibit any human activities, particularly the harvesting of natural resources. The core zone is composed predominantly of mangrove and marine areas and its total area is 96.4 ha.(.96 square kilometer). Next, there is a buffer zone, composed mostly of upland forest, mangrove forest and marine areas. Having the total area of 517.2 ha. (5.17 square kilometer), it cushions the core area from developmental pressures in the upland forest and forbids human activity in the marine area. Lastly, there is the transition zone which does not enforce environmental regulations as stringently as the other zones, but, nonetheless, guarantees some environmental protection under the Kosrae State Land Use Plan. 

The Utwe population uses the area along with its available raw materials, for construction, agriculture, tourism and fishing. The transition zone promotes sustainable conservation management. Its total area is 1159 ha. (11.59 square kilometer). *These photos are video stills from Into the Islands with Dan Ho [1], a production of the Micronesia Challenge [2], The Nature Conservancy and DHK.  To view this entire series, please visit www.intotheislands.com [3], and watch Episode 4.*      [1] http://www.intotheislands.com [2] http://www.micronesiachallenge.org [3] http://www.intotheislands.com

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