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EditPhoto Title:Innovative Conservation in Micronesia
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EditImage Description:Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. © Conservation International/photo by Emmeline Johansen
EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Emmeline Johansen
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Life in Micronesia depends on nature — but a rising sea, acidification of the ocean, unsustainable fishing practices and deforestation are threatening important natural resources.

Micronesia — a collection of some 2,100 islands in the western Pacific — hosts an abundance of biological diversity. More than 1,000 fish species, 85 bird species, 1,400 kinds of plants (200 of which are found nowhere else on Earth) and 60% of the world’s coral species call the tropical region home.

To protect this essential biodiversity, five Micronesian governments — Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam — developed the Micronesia Challenge, a visionary pledge to conserve their natural resources for the well-being of their 500,000 people. By 2020, at least 30% of near-shore marine resources and 20% of land across Micronesia will be conserved — including over 5% of the Pacific Ocean.

Building upon locally managed protected areas, the Micronesia Challenge forms a series of protected area networks — spanning 6.7 million square kilometers (2.6 million square miles) of the Pacific Ocean — backed by a large-scale partnership between governments, nonprofit and community leaders, international agencies and donors. This regional agreement has placed these five nations at the forefront of global, innovative conservation.



Our role

In support of this ground-breaking challenge, Conservation International has pledged US$ 3 million to provide sustainable financing for the protected area networks of the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

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    EditImage Description: Map of the countries involved in the Micronesia Challenge.
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    Our plan

    CI's investment in the Micronesia Challenge ensures that the Micronesian people have the resources they need to conserve their unique and rich natural resources for future generations. Priority sites for conservation have been identified based on the threats they face and their importance to human well-being. Using this information, and through consultation with community leaders and governments, protected areas have been designed and established. CI’s financial support also helps establish legal frameworks for these networks and provides tools to educate and build local capacity to carry out enforcement, monitoring and other technical work. With these steps in place, we can help ensure that these areas continue to provide fish to eat, water to drink and wildlife to enjoy.

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      EditSection Title:Conserving Helen Reef with local communities
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        EditImage Description: Coral reef in Indonesia
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        Renowned for its extraordinary marine biological diversity and abundance, Helen Reef is one of Palau’s largest and most remote coral reefs. With the most diverse hard coral found on the atolls of the Pacific, the reef has long supported the livelihoods of the Tobian people. However, in recent decades, Helen Reef has been overexploited by foreign fishermen and locally-driven unsustainable harvesting.

        CI has been working with the Tobian people — through both their traditional leadership and state government — since 2006 to develop a long-term solution that protects the reef and livelihoods of local people. A conservation agreement is now in place that addresses the conservation needs while, at the same time, strengthening economic prospects for the community through sustainable management of natural resources, investment in alternative livelihoods and the establishment of long-term financing.

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        EditPhoto Credit:© Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock
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        EditImage Alt Text:Waterfall in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
        EditTitle:By the numbers
        EditSubtitle:$3 million pledge
        EditText:Through the Global Conservation Fund — and with support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation — Conservation International has contributed US$ 3 million to provide sustainable financing for the protected area networks of the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
        EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Emmeline Johansen
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          More of Our Work Links

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          First Image

          EditTitle:Pacific Oceanscape
          EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_63002536.jpg
          EditLink:/where/pages/pacific-oceanscape.aspx
          EditImage Alt Text:Aerial view, Bora Bora. © Rodolphe Holler

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          EditTitle:The Phoenix Islands Protected Area
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          EditLink:/projects/pages/phoenix-islands-protected-area.aspx
          EditImage Alt Text:The Phoenix Islands Protected Area. © Keith A. Ellenbogen

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          EditTitle:The Ocean
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          EditLink:/what/Pages/oceans.aspx
          EditImage Alt Text:Coral reef in Viti Levu, Fiji, Oceania. © William Crosse