Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Foreign Financial Assistance to Protect FSM's Environment

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): December 22, 2009 - During the Second Special Session of the 16th Congress, a Resolution (CR No. 16-48) was adopted approving, accepting and ratifying grant assistance from the UN Convention to Combat Desertification in the amount of $90,000 to combat desertification. (Note: Desertification means the gradual transformation of habitable land into desert and is usually caused by climate change or by destructive use of the land). A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the FSM and the Secretariat of the United Nations on February, 11, 2009 and $54,000 was received by the FSM upon signing of the MOU.

Consultations were done when the fund was made available in February of 2009 and the four FSM States decided that the money should be equally distributed for small projects on land degradation in each state. Therefore, $22,500 will be given to each state for small scale projects. Yap State will use the funds for reforestation of degraded savannahs to enhance vegetation cover and foster native biodiversity. Chuuk State will use their share for replanting mangrove plants in selected deforested areas in Chuuk, including cleaning up plastics and other debris in the mangroves to improve the habitats of young trees. Pohnpei State will do main food crop rehabilitation in selected outer islands, and Kosrae State will do reforestation of fragmented mangroves and eroded coastline areas. Each state's EPA and Agriculture/Forestry Division are responsible for implementing these projects.

Also sent up to Congress during the Special Session, was another agreement on foreign financial assistance between the Government of the United States and the Government of the FSM in the amount of $48,200 to fund an application submitted by the FSM entitled "Protecting Pohnpei's Watershed Forest Reserve." This was competitive grant that was awarded to the FSM by the U.S. Department of Agriculture back in August of 2008. The activities being funded by this grant are undertaken by the Forest Stewardship Program in the State of Pohnpei, and designed to protect biodiversity and water resources in partnership with the communities.

The Executive Branch transmitted a proposed resolution for Congress to adopt, but it did not see consideration during the Special Session due to the short session and the timing of the transmission. It is hoped that it will see consideration during the next Regular Session of Congress in January 2010.

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