Pohnpei hosts Global Environment Facility Micronesia Challenge Inception Workshop
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): January 27, 2011 - From January 19 to January 21, the FSM Department of Resources and Development, the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) co-hosted the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Micronesia Challenge (MC) Inception Workshop in Kolonia, Pohnpei.
Marion Henry, Secretary of the Department of R&D, opened the first GEF workshop. The workshop included representatives from the Governments of FSM, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of Marshall Islands, UNEP, MCT, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), SPREP, Conservation Society of Pohnpei, Marshall Islands Conservation Society , Palau Conservation Society , and the GEF-Micronesia Small Grants Programme . The inception meeting was called for after the Micronesia Challenge Endowment Fund to which MCT serves as the financial manager received $5.4 Million from the GEF-UNEP.
The purpose of the workshop was to assist the project team to understand and take ownership of the project's goals and objectives, as well as finalize preparation of the team's first annual work plan; a plan which will allow for the collection of precise and measurable performance indicators.
It also gave the country representatives, as well as NGOs, the opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to and maintain momentum in implementing the Micronesia Challenge. Because of the participation of a wide representation that included international, regional, national, state and community organizations, the meeting produced a multi faceted exchange and cross-country discussions and deliberations.
The Micronesia Challenge is a regional inter-governmental initiative between Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, and the U.S. territories of Guam and Northern Mariana Islands. The goal of the Micronesia Challenge is to conserve and effectively manage 30% of near shore marine resources and 20% of terrestrial resources by the year 2020. The Micronesia Challenge nations and territories represent nearly 5 percent of the marine area of the Pacific Ocean and 7 percent of its coastlines.
As a result of the Micronesia Challenge declaration by the five Micronesia government jurisdictions, the Micronesia Conservation Trust has been selected to house and administer the MC endowment. With initial contribution from TNC to the FSM and Palau plus in-country contributions in the Marshall Islands and Palau, the MC endowment now has reached a balance of $ 7.7M.
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