On Wednesday 21st April, H.E David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), hosted a virtual forum to celebrate 15 years of progress towards the achievement of the Micronesia Challenge (MC).
Initially agreed in 2006, the first MC targeted the conservation of at least 30% of near-shore marine resources and 20% of terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020. In July 2019, at the 24th Micronesian Island Forum, the leaders endorsed the MC 2030 commitment, to build on the success of the first MC and to enable collective action on key issues such as sustainable livelihoods and climate related disasters.
In opening the forum, H.E Panuelo acknowledged the achievements of the past 15 years but also emphasized the work yet to be addressed.
“A better world, is not something we ask for, but a world we build”, he said.
A key part of the forum was country statements, outlining work undertaken to date and ambitions for the future. On that note, the Governor of Guam, Lou Leon Guerrero, noted that the MC provided an important framework for conservation initiatives in the region to align under one umbrella.
“As we move forward, Guam will continue to share its technology and capacity with the region. Although Guam has reforested over 1,120 acres of land, the UOG Center for Island Sustainability is testing methods for using drones to disperse seed balls to assist with reforestation efforts. In partnership with NASA and the Pacific Islands Climate Science Adaptation Center, Guam will soon have high-resolution maps of Guam’s coral reefs,” she said.
The Micronesia challenge forum was attended by the Presidents of the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands and the Governors of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and Guam, all of whom have committed to strong political leadership towards the 2030 goals.
In homage to the rich storytelling traditions of Micronesia, the forum facilitated the exchange and celebration of conservation efforts throughout the region.
More information on the Micronesia Challenge can be found here