CI to support the development of the Micronesia Challenge to preserve the natural resources that are crucial to the survival of Pacific traditions, cultures and livelihoods in this region.
Guam — At the annual meeting of the CEOs of Micronesia,
Conservation International (CI) confirmed its $3 million (US) pledge to support
the Micronesia Challenge, and provided $350,000 to the Republic of the Marshall
Islands as the first stage of a six-year investment aimed at strengthening
protected area networks in Micronesia.
This commitment reflects Conservation International's support for the
continued development of sustainable financing for protected areas in Federated
States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of Palau and the Republic of the
Marshall Islands via the Micronesia Challenge. Through the Challenge these
countries, plus the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam, have
undertaken to protect 30 percent of their coastal resources and 20 percent of
terrestrial resources by 2020.
In recognition of this ground-breaking initiative, Conservation International
pledged $3 million toward an endowment to sustainably finance the Challenge. The
Nature Conservancy has already pledged an additional $3 million, and in 2010 the
Global Environment Facility approved a $6 million regional grant to help meet
funding requirements. As part of these agreements, Micronesia Challenge member
states Palau, FSM, and RMI committed to matching pledged funds 2:1, making
substantial progress to establish protected areas networks guided by standards
set forth in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), and
developing local income generating mechanisms to fund continuing conservation
activities under the Micronesia Challenge.
To mark the occasion a $350,000 cheque was handed to Hon. Tony DeBrum,
Vice-President of the Marshall Islands, by Mike Donoghue, the Executive Director
of the Pacific Islands Programme for Conservation International, as the initial
payment to the Marshall Islands. A further $650,000 will be provided to the
Marshall Islands over the next 18 months, to strengthen a Trust Fund housed at
the Micronesia Conservation Trust, which will provide an ongoing source of
revenue for activities conducted under the Micronesia Challenge.
The Micronesia Challenge has inspired similar large-scale regional
initiatives across the globe, including the Caribbean Challenge, the Coral
Triangle Initiative, and the newly launched Western Indian Ocean Coastal
From 2014-2018, Conservation International will contribute an additional $2
million to similar Trust Funds that have been established by FSM and Palau.
"Conservation International congratulates the President of the Marshall
Islands and the leaders of Micronesia on the remarkable progress the Micronesia
Challenge has made in recent years towards achieving its ambitious goals. The
success of the Challenge provides a global model for international collaboration
in island conservation," Mike Donoghue said.
According to His Excellency President Christopher Loeak, "The unique culture
and way of life of the Marshall Islanders has developed in harmony with our
natural environment over thousands of years. The Micronesia Challenge is
changing the face of biodiversity conservation across the Marshall Islands and
indeed across the world."
"Conservation International has had a long history of support for
conservation projects in Micronesia, and this 6-year commitment represents our
most significant investment to date," Mr Donoghue said. "Besides our commitment
to the Micronesia Challenge in the Marshall Islands, Palau and FSM, CI is also
devoting significant resources to protected area development across the Pacific
Islands region as part of the Pacific Oceanscape. We see the Micronesia
Challenge and the Pacific Oceanscape as complementary vehicles for the
conservation and sustainable management of living marine resources in the
Pacific Ocean. We will also continue to support individual projects connected
with marine conservation in Micronesia, with a special focus on the region's
ocean voyagers — the sharks, turtles and whales."
The Pacific Oceanscape has been mandated by all the governments in the
region, and includes the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in Kiribati (the world's
second-largest marine protected area), and the Cook Islands Marine Park,
currently in development, which will become the world's largest marine park when
it is designated later this year.
For more information, contact:
Emmeline Johansen, Asia Pacific Communications Manager, Conservation
mobile +68 92 968 872/ email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Donoghue, Executive Director, Pacific Islands Programme, Conservation
mobile (+685) 777 2495/ email: email@example.com
Yumi Crisostomo, Micronesia Challenge Steering Committee representative for
(Tel: +692 625 7944)/ email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to editors:
Conservation International (CI) — Building upon a strong
foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers
societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global
biodiversity, for the long term well-being of people. Founded in 1987, CI has
headquarters in the Washington, DC area, and 900 employees working in nearly 25
countries on four continents, plus 1,000+ partners around the world. Follow us
on Facebook or Twitter @ConservationOrg.
The Micronesia Challenge (MC) — The Micronesia Challenge is
a shared commitment to effectively conserve at least 30% of the near-shore
marine resources and 20% of the terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020.
This ambitious challenge far exceeds current goals set by international
conventions and treaties, which call for countries to conserve 10% of
terrestrial and marine resources by 2010 and 2012 respectively. The challenge
also emphasizes the need for Micronesian leaders to work together at the
regional level to confront environmental and sustainable development issues, in
a rapidly changing world. http://micronesiachallenge.org