Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands (3 September, 2013) – Today at the Pacific Islands Forum, Conservation International (CI) completed their $1 million (USD) commitment to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) completed their $1 million (USD) commitment to the Federated States of Micronesia in support of the Micronesia Challenge (MC) to strengthen protected area management in the region.
In 2006, at the launch of the MC, a commitment to effectively conserve at least 30 percent of near-shore marine resources and 20 percent of terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020,CI and TNC each pledged $3 million toward an endowment to support this ground-breaking initiative.
CI’s Gregory Stone Conservation International’s Executive Vice President, The Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and Oceans presented a cheque for $500,000 (USD) to H.E. Christopher Loeak, the President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), at the MC side event. This follows earlier endowment contributions made in 2012 and completes CI’s pledge of $1 million to support the RMI Micronesia Challenge Endowment Fund.
As the host of the Forum and the MC luncheon, President Loeak opened the event, stating: “This Pacific Islands Forum is a Micronesian Forum, and represents an important opportunity to highlight this important milestone for the Micronesia Challenge. We are grateful and humbled by the generosity and support of our key regional partners in the Micronesia Challenge. We are well on our way to realising our dream of a healthy, prosperous and sustainable Micronesia”
Stone congratulated RMI on the progress made with the development of their protected area network and the comprehensive guidance that has nurtured this effort through their ‘Reimaanlok Plan’. “I would like to acknowledge the RMI’s UNESCO World Heritage site in Bikini Atoll, as testament to the tremendous resilience of the Marshallese culture and spirit to have this, once as nuclear testing ground, as a protected area.”
Today, TNC also presented a $500,000 (USD) cheque to H.E. Emanuel Mori, President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) completing their commitment to the FSM’s MC Endowment Fund. In his remarks, President Mori encouraged additional, ongoing support to the Challenge, including from future leaders in the region.
TNC’s Micronesia Program Director, Trina Leberer, thanked the Presidents for their ongoing leadership of the Micronesia Challenge, saying: “We are thrilled to be completing our $3 million pledge to the MC endowment, and we remain fully committed to assisting the jurisdictions to fully achieve their conservation and sustainable finance goals for this amazing initiative, so great in scope, yet being built tangibly, from the bottom-up by communities across Micronesia.
His Excellency Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., President of the Republic of Palau closed the event with the following reflection: “The ocean does not separate us, but instead brings us together.” The MC was the first of its kind globally and 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 Challenge.
Today’s side event at the Pacific Islands Forum was sponsored by CI, TNC and the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) and hosted by Presidents from RMI, Palau and the FSM.
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Emmeline Johansen, Regional Communications Manager, Asia Pacific Field Division, Conservation International | Mobile +64 4 277 793 401 | Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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About Conservation International (CI)
– Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature and its global biodiversity to promote the long-term well-being of people. Founded in 1987 and marking its 25th anniversary in 2012, CI is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area. CI employs 900 staff in nearly 30 countries on four continents and works with more than 1,000 partners around the world. For more information, please see www.conservation.org
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The Nature Conservancy
- The Nature Conservancy is a charitable environmental organization in the United States. Its mission is to "preserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy works in more than 30 countries, including all 50 states of the United States. The Conservancy has over one million members, and has protected more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide. The Nature Conservancy also operates more than 100 marine conservation projects globally. http://www.nature.org
Micronesia Conservation Trust
– Created in 2002, the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) supports biodiversity conservation and related sustainable development for the people of Micronesia. MCT accomplishes this by providing long-term, sustained funding through a grants program that encourages people to adopt sustainable and appropriate solutions to local environmental challenges. MCT was selected to house the Micronesia Challenge Endowment in 2007. http://www.ourmicronesia.org/