Mission Statement

Our goal is effective protection and conservation of the ecosystems and species within the Conflict Island Atoll through sustainable ecological and economic management. This can be achieved through a concerted and passionate effort from all our affiliates and partners.


Ian Gowrie-Smith

Atoll Custodian



The Conflict Islands based in the Coral Triangle and the center for marine biodiversity is recognized as one of the world’s marine hotspots boasting some of the largest numbers of fish species notes in a single dive averaging 220 species of fish per dive!

CICI is currently working together with our partner communities of the Engineer and Deboyne Communities to secure more international and local awareness for Milne Bay's inherent natural marine wonders.  Creating Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMA's) for the Conflict Atoll and these communities is a big step forward to increasing the Marine Protected Areas in Papua New Guinea, that are the essential life support for Australia's Great Barrier Reef and will become of increased economic and ecological importance as the threats to Australia's reefs increase. 

CICI, through its volunteer programs, aims for the protection and enhancement of this amazing natural environment, which, from its own beauty demands to be protected. Harboring endemic species, diverse reefs yet to be fully explored, species completely new to science, and numerous endangered species, The Conflict Islands is one of the last Eden's left on earth.

Inviting researchers from around the world and locally in PNG, CICI encourages the exploration and categorization of this amazing marine landscape. Working with internationally significant conservation bodies and universities such as James Cook University, PNGCLMA, SPREP and WWF, we hope to preserve and enhance all that this natural marine environment has to offer.

The conservation responsibility now lies with the owner, the visitors and the local community to uphold all practices that safeguard this pristine and unique area of the world.


What we do

Coral Reef and Fish


Come help us solve the mysteries of the Conflict Islands reefs!!

This program focuses on surveying the health of our coral reefs, the diversity of the reef and organisms that inhabit the area. You will also get the opportunity to work with visiting researchers, learn about their research and discover from their presentations. 

Using a variety of survey techniques and sampling methods you will spend your days immersed in the underwater realm of the coral sea, entering data, identifying fish and coral, and analysing data collected.

We will also be incorporating a component of coral gardening techniques, fragmentation, micro fragmentation and coral planting. 

Shark & Ray Diversity


Sharks are apex predators keystone species, without sharks the balance of the oceans are lost.

Here in Papua New Guinea, like most other countries with difficult economics, the shark finning industry has breached these waters and now shark fishermen are hunting our species around the Conflict Islands.

To fully understand the impact this will have, we need to know which sharks and in what numbers inhabit these waters. We hope to get a good understanding of the species diversity of sharks and rays form our long term study using BRUV's.

to change the future we need to educate our future generations, learn from our mistakes and change the way we do things.. Our community education programs will be directed at school children and you will play an active role in getting the message across to them that sharks are friends NOT just FINS!!

Turtle Conservation


Working with the local communities and CICI's own Turtle Rangers, we endeavor to protect all turtles that nest within the Conflict Islands Atoll. CICI also provides much needed education and awareness about the endangered species and how to help manage local populations on regular visits to schools and communities of the surrounding island groups.

You will gain valuable experience in the field for data collection, trouble solving and working hands on with wildlife! You will take part in egg collecting and relocating, treatment of sick or injured turtles, health assessments, enrichment exercises, husbandry techniques predator mitigation, and turtle rodeos.

Along with this you will be a vital part of the on the ground protection of these ancient mariners, from human interference  and harm.

Why Volunteer...?

Without volunteers none of the essential conservation work CICI does would be possible.


Volunteering is a meaningful way to spend your time or holidays. Knowing you are making a difference to the survival of an endangered species, creating new protected areas or ensuring the habitat of new species remains intact is the best thing we can be doing for the future in this uncertain world.


CICI invites researches from around Papua New Guinea and the work to utilize the facilities already established here on the Conflict Islands, to enable research of the natural environment both above and below the surface of the water. Facilities such as a 24m fully fitted out diving liveaboard, accommodation both on the main island and others through out the Atoll, a number of small vessels for diving and research purposes, and reliable power.


We are proud to be in a position where CICI can, through its Papua New Guinea'partnerships, provide numerous education workshops and training for the surrounding community groups. Not limited to marine education CICI aims to be a conduit for many different education programs, with a focus on the protection of the natural environment. 



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Conflict Islands, Milne Bay

Papua New Guinea



Tel: +675 7165 4596

Skype: hayleyversace

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Itamarina Island, Conflict Islands

An aerial view of Itamarina Island, in the center of the Conflict Islands atoll.