Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Pacific Islands Conference Renews Commitment to Sustainable Development

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): June 23, 1997 - The following is the text of a press release issued June 20, 1997, at the end of the conference held in Pohnpei on Sustainable Development in the Pacific Islands.

"One hundred fifty participants from throughout the Pacific Islands and the U.S.A. gathered in Pohnpei this week to exchange information and renew their commitment to sustainable development. The President's Council on Environmental Management and Sustainable Development, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Region IX co-sponsored this 16th annual conference. Distinguished traditional leaders attended along with officials and representative of national and local governments and legislative bodies, environmental agencies, research institutions, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.

His Excellency the Honorable Jacob Nena, President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), attended the conference and stressed the urgency of its mission to ensure that all nations protect natural resources as they develop. He is especially concerned that the outer islands of FSM are already suffering from sea level rise as a result of a global climate change, and he expects the problems will continue, potentially submerging islands throughout the Pacific region.

President Nena traveled to New York on Wednesday, June 18, to participate in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) 'Rio Plus Five' meeting to evaluate progress since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro. He will lead off with a report from this conference.

'The concept of sustainable development will be proven in the Pacific Islands,' said John Wise, Deputy Regional Administrator, USEPA Region IX. 'We have come to Pohnpei to join representatives from all the Islands to learn from each other and to plan for a sustainable future for our children.'

Leo A. Falcam, Vice President of the FSM and Chairman of the President's Council on sustainable Development, reminded the conference participants, '[Sustainable Development] involves different concerns for developing, resource-poor small islands countries than for large, richly-endowed industrialized countries [...] everyone, both North and South, has an interest in seeing that no major region planetary resources is marginalized in this exercise.'

Del Pangelinan, Governor of the State of Pohnpei, welcomed participants on Monday, June 16. Representatives came from American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, all states of the FSM, Guam, Hawaii, Kingdom of Tonga, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau, Solomon Islands, South Pacific Regional Environment Program, U.S. Mainland, and Western Samoa.

Conference participants discussed presentations on ecological, social, cultural, economic, planning and waste management aspects of sustainable development. They also visited field sites in Pohnpei that illustrated environmental problems and solutions such as sustainable agriculture and fishing, renewable energy use, and protection of mangrove forests, watersheds, and coral reefs."

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