Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Completion of Biosphere Project in Pohnpei

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): March 11, 2010 - On Friday February 19th, 2010 at the new Administration headquarters in Kolonia, Pohnpei, a short ceremony was held to launch the Ant Biosphere Reserve project. Over the past 10 years, the Conservation Society of Pohnpei has been working in partnership with the Pohnpei state government, the FSM National Government, Rohsa Kitti and the Nanpei family, the Kitti municipal government and communities and NGO partners to preserve Ant Atoll as a Biosphere Reserve.

Through the signing of an executive order by Pohnpei State Governor John Ehsa, the Governor declared the protection of Ant Atoll. In the declaration, the Governor stated that Pohnpei State Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources will identify the precise coordinates for the boundaries of the sanctuary and begin preparation of an inventory of Ant Atoll's scenic, natural, and cultural features, including, but not limited to ecological, archaeological, historical and geological features. Various State Departments will immediately issue regulations to restrict the taking of any fish, bird, mammal or other wild vertebrate or invertebrate animals or part, or nest, or egg thereof within the boundary of the Ant Atoll Marine Sanctuary.

In addition to signing the Executive Order, Governor Ehsa will be transmitting a draft bill to incorporate specific areas of the atoll to become part of the Pohnpei State Marine Sanctuary System to the Pohnpei Legislature for action.

According to Mr. Patterson K. Shed, the Executive Director of the Conservation Society of Pohnpei, this is the first ever private and state co-managed protected site in Pohnpei and it was truly a collective effort. In his short statement, Mr. Shed said that (this day) "marks a turning point and signals a mark of accomplishment for all partners involved from inception over 10 years ago to date. We honor visionaries and those who dreamed this goal like His Excellency the late Rohsa Mr. Bob Nanpei who is no longer with us and stayed steadfast to the goal until the end, and we honor the current Rohsa, Mr. Namio Nanpei who ensured the dream remained strong this far. Ant is an amazing national treasure and worth all the protection it can get."

The World Network of Biosphere Reserves is an international conservation tool coordinated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Biosphere reserves are sites recognized under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme which innovate and demonstrate approaches to conservation and sustainable development. They are under national sovereign jurisdiction, yet share their experience and ideas nationally, regionally and internationally within the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. There are 529 Biosphere Reserves worldwide in 105 countries. At its meeting in September 2007, the Bureau of the International Coordinating Council of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program added 23 new reserves sites in 18 countries to its global network - and Ant Atoll was one of them.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356