Micronesia contains diverse and astounding coral resources closely linked to the traditions, cultures, and livelihoods of its inhabitants. Supporting the Freely Associated States of Micronesia (FAS, including the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau), Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in implementing the Micronesia Challenge (MC) represents CRCP International’s most established international engagement. Leader-driven, regionally-implemented, and locally supported, the MC aims to effectively conserve 30% of nearshore marine resources and 20% of terrestrial by the year 2020. Significantly advancing the practice of regional environmental governance, the Micronesia Challenge has inspired others to action, such as the Coral Triangle Initiative and the Caribbean Challenge.
Coral Program-International continues to serve the Micronesia Challenge by providing longstanding direct and indirect support to the U.S. domestic territories and independent island nations committed to the Micronesia Challenge. Continuing its longstanding commitment to supporting the MC’s learning network for marine management practitioners, in 2010 and 2011 CRCP International provided a co-coordinator for the Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Area Community, the primary institution in the Pacific region for enhancing protected area management capacities, and disseminating tools and methods across MC jurisdictions and local MPA practitioners. Specific recent initiatives include:
“Adapting to a Changing Climate” is one of the most pressing issues faced by Micronesian communities – and is the title of a new series of illustrated flip charts, facilitator’s guide and resource manuals developed for outreach to traditional village leaders. Led by MCT and TNC, CRCP staff worked with a host of Micronesian partners to develop these materials in September 2010. The large flip charts graphically depict climate change concepts and actions that can be carried out by the communities. CRCP staff and partners in the Coral Triangle currently are re-illustrating the flip charts for use in Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) programs beginning in 2011. (http://www.cakex.org/sites/default/files/SMALL%20Booklet%20FINAL.pdf) Currently, Micronesian partners are being training to use these tools to develop climate change adaptation plans with coastal communities to enhance their ability to be resilient managers in the face of climate change.