Promoting action to build resilient and sustainable island communities

GLISPA MEMBER Micronesia Conservation Trust shares 3 key documents related to the Partnership...

Pohnpei Federated States of MicronesiaWhat is the Micronesia Challenge and the Terrestrial Monitoring Programme?

The Micronesia Challenge is “a commitment by the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands to preserve the natural resources that are crucial to the survival of Pacific traditions, cultures and livelihoods.

The overall goal of the Challenge is to effectively conserve at least 30% of the near-shore marine resources and 20% of the terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020.” Since the commitment was signed in 2006, the MC has inspired other challenges around the world, such as the Caribbean Challenge Initiative and Hawaii’s Aloha+Challenge. To learn more about the Micronesia Challenge, please visit the site here.

MCT Terresterial 500W

The Terrestrial monitoring program of the Challenge is guided by the Terrestrial Measures Scorecard. The scorecard was developed collectively by the Terrestrial Core Group representing each of the 5 Micronesia Challenge jurisdictions. The Scorecard emphasizes variables such as: trees, mangrove, bird, surface and ground water and guides the measurement of indicators under each of the variables (refer to the scorecard). Indicators such as native forest cover, species diversity, abundance, forest structure, human disturbance, bird diversity, and invasive species are monitored to detect changes in biodiversity over time. The information gathered helps forest managers make decisions to more effectively care for the forests and its many resources.

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What is the role of the MCT Adaptation Fund?

As an accredited National Implementing Entity (NIE) to the Adaptation Fund (AF) for the Federated States of Micronesia, the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) was awarded a $970,000 grant for the project Practical Solutions for Reducing Community Vulnerability to Climate Change in the Federated States of Micronesia.

The project will support vulnerable, coastal communities across FSM’s four states to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience to the anticipated impacts of climate variability and change. This work supports the regional efforts of the Micronesia Challenge (MC), the 2006 commitment by the leaders of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Territory of Guam to effectively conserve and manage at least 30 percent of near-shore marine resources and 20 percent of terrestrial resources across the Micronesia region by 2020. It also directly addresses Sustainable Development Goal number 14: Life Below Water, to conserve and sustainably use the world’s oceans, seas and marine resources.

Outcomes of the project include: improving the implementation of national and state-level marine protected area management networks, thereby improving MPA management and maintaining the resilience of local ecosystems to the impacts of climate change, strengthening the enforcement of near-shore fisheries and MPA regulations to maintain coral reef and near-shore marine ecosystem health, climate change resilience and food security, and building community-level adaptive capacity to climate change.

In late 2018, MCT launched a competitive Request for Proposals for the Small Grants Facility (SGF) component of this grant with the purpose of providing funds for projects that contribute to community resilience to climate change through: eco-system-based, community-identified, sustainable activities focusing on coastal ecosystems or ridge-to-reef projects that will deliver tangible and sustainable benefits to adapt to or reduce climate risks. Through the AF grant, the Small Grants Facility will ensure that up to $340,000 are sub-granted to organizations and communities providing needed funding for adaptation projects in the FSM. Seven projects have thus far been approved across the country focusing on:
· Incorporating Climate Change Resilience into Community-based Marine Protected Area Designs
· Food Security and Sustainable Economic Development
· Building the Resilience of Communities and Mangrove Ecosystems
· Mobilizing MPA Communities to be Resilient to Climate Change
· Developing Agroforest Gardens, Preserving Culture for Sustainable Livelihoods
· Strengthening Community Resilience to Climate Change.

Through the projects funded under this SGF, climate adaptation response strategies will be incorporated into local practices so that natural assets, livelihoods and ecosystem services are protected from climate-induced risks associated with expected sea-level rises, fish-stock depletion and storm-related disaster events.

The Coconut for Life Project (C4L)...

Community planning in Pohnpei MicronesiaPOHNPEI, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) — On August 10, 2018 MCT’s Executive Director, Mr. William Kostka signed off on a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with FSM Vital to assist with the Coconut for Life Project (C4L).The C4L Project is an initiative of FSM Petro or Vital to bring back coconut industry here in the FSM. This industry had been stalling since 1970’s.

MCT took on this project as part of its commitment to becoming a World Class and Deeply Micronesian with its focus on conducting community awareness programs, forming and registering Participatory Guarantee System groups (PGS) or farmer groups and providing training to build PGS members capacity to run small businesses and training integrating traditional knowledge and scientific studies of how to care for and grow coconut trees. In all this would provide additional source of sustainable livelihood to farmers or communities.

C4L group pic w description 1PHOTO: February 15, 2019 – Takaiou, U farmers are the 1st established PGS in FSM, visited the Pohnpei CDU facility.

Coconut for Life (C4L) project has 3 components to it:
building of the factory in Tonoas Chuuk,
a community component to establish PGS groups, and
the marketing of the commodity.

The C4Life Project will benefit the nation as a whole, because among all the natural resources in the FSM, every island in every state has coconut trees, and most of the population can potentially participate as suppliers.

The C4L community component kicked off in Pohnpei as pilot and to guide program as it expand to three states. Even though Pohnpei could potentially be the hardest state to form PGS groups given the fact that there are many other sources of livelihoods compared to the other three States. MCT has assisted with the establishment of 4 PGS groups and this approach has gained the support and interest of many farmers in Pohnpei. Vital and MCT plan to introduce the community component of C4L to Chuuk to start the community awareness and the incorporation process by mid 2019.