Name: Pedrus Primo
Location: Takaieu community, Pohnpei
Mr. Pedrus Primo is currently the traditional chief of the Takaieu community, and as such, goes by the traditional title of “Kehlahk Takaieu.” Kehlahk Takaieu was one of the first four Community Conservation Officers (CCOs) selected by both chiefs of Dehpehk and Takaieu communities to serve as stewards for Palipohn Dehpehk/Takaieu Marine Sanctuary since its establishment in 2001. With his strong value of Pohnpei’s culture and a passion for conservation, Kehlahk Takaieu joined the learning network to share and gain experiences in marine resource conservation and management.
With only four respectfully appointed CCOs for Dehpehk/Takaieu MPA, Kehlahk Takaieu’s dedication has transformed him into a highly respected role model for Dehpehk and Takaieu communities. In 2005, Kehlahk Takaieu voluntarily hosted the 2nd MPA cross-site visit on behalf of Dehpehk and Takaieu communities and recruited five more respected community members to become CCOs. Souwen Dehpehk and Kehlahk Takaieu, both chiefs of Dehphek and Takaieu, expressed their support and officially endorsed the new additions to the CCOs.
Kehlahk Takaieu is a true community role model not only to Pohnpei, but throughout the region. In 2007, Kehlahk Takaieu was selected to represent the Pohnpei LMMA Network to team up with conservation champion Mr. Willy Kostka, founding member of Micronesians in Conservation and executive director of the Conservation Society of Pohnpei, on a learning exchange trip to Guam and the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI). Mr. Kostka and Kehlahk Takaieu joined two other community members from the Hawaiian Islands and visited various communities in Guam and CNMI, sharing their experiences in community-based marine management.
Dehpehk and Takaieu have neither electricity nor a modernized water system, yet are endowed with potentially bountiful marine resources. Kehlahk Takaieu aims to restore what was passed down to him by his forefathers so he can securely pass it on to his grandchildren and their children. Having grown up on Takaieu, Kehlahk Takaieu has witnessed the depletion of Pohnpei’s marine resources by overfishing and development. Kehlahk Takaieu not only wants to conserve marine resources of purely economic value, but more so to sustain the livelihood and culture of his community. As a community leader, Kehlahk Takaieu wishes to spread what he has learned in resource conservation and management throughout the rest of the communities in Pohnpei and beyond. He truly believes that community efforts can make a difference.
Photo by Conservation Society of Pohnpei