Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM signs MOU to manage and conserve its coastal resources

Apia, Samoa (SPREP): November 30, 2001 - The Federated States of Micronesia became the sixth of 14 Pacific island countries to officially sign a Memorandum of Understanding to start implementation of the International Waters Program (IWP).

The signing provides approximately US$400,000 for one of the FSM states to start its coastal management and conservation work.

Secretary Ieske K. Iehsi of FSM Department of Foreign Affairs had signed the MOU on 13th November 2001 in Palikir with the formalities completed by Director of SPREP, Tamari'I Tutangata's in Apia.

The IWP, five-year program financed by the Global Environment Facility, implemented by the UN Development Program and to be executed through SPREP. The program is made up of two components: coastal and oceanic. The IWP aims to manage and conserve coastal and oceanic resources and habitats in the Pacific islands region.

The FSM MOU relates to the coastal component, which establishes arrangements for the implementation of a community-based demonstration project that will address an issue that FSM, through an extensive consultative process, identifies as being an issue of priority environmental concern.

The main partner for the IWP is the Department of Economic Affairs, which has taken the lead on the arrangements for the design and implementation of this project.

According to the Department's spokesperson, Okean Ehmes, a demonstration site is yet to be identified but, "given the amount of funding available, approximately USD400,000, is likely to be confined to one of FSM's four States."

The demonstration project can work specifically in the areas for the management and conservation of freshwater resources, the management of waste and the sustainable use of coastal resources.

FSM has also been participating in the oceanic component of the Program for more than 12 months. This component, executed through the Secretariat of the Pacific Community based in Noumea and the Forum Fisheries Agency based in Solomon Islands is focused on providing support to Pacific Island countries in the extensive negotiation process to establish new arrangements for the management and conservation of tuna in the western central Pacific.

The Micronesian Fisheries Authority has been engaged in this process.

The countries participating in the IWP are the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

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