Jessica Robbins, Jrobbins@mediaimpact.org,
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- This voluntary initiative came from Small Island Developing States for SIDS 2014
Description/achievement of initiative
The Micronesia Challenge is a commitment by five governments—the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the U.S. Territory of Guam and the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands — to effectively conserve at least 30% of the near-shore marine resources and 20% of the terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020. The Challenge has grown into a network supported by over 50 partners globally and has seen enormous progress.
• Government leaders, conservation practitioners, private partners, and local communities collaborate to promote island conservation and sustainable livelihoods. The Challenge has aided in strengthening or establishing over 150 protected areas throughout the Micronesia region.
• The Micronesia Conservation Trust was selected to host a regional endowment to provide long-term, sustainable funding for biodiversity conservation. Since 2007, US$14.8 million has been secured, including pledges from The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, and Global Environment Facility, with a goal to raise an estimated additional $41 million.
• The Micronesia Conservation Trust works with national jurisdictions to create internal income generating mechanisms such as Palau’s Green Fee.
• Community participation and support is essential to the success of the Micronesia Challenge. The Micronesia Conservation Trust partnered with the organization Rare to start Pride campaigns to inspire people to take pride in the species and habitats that make their communities unique while introducing alternatives to environmentally destructive practices, in support of the Micronesia Challenge.
• The government of Palau — a key driver of the Micronesia Challenge — along with partners, designed a comprehensive Protected Areas Network (PAN). With all sixteen states and dozens of conservation areas involved, the PAN benefits local communities and livelihoods while protecting the rich marine biodiversity of the region.
• The Young Champions Intern Program has mentored over 20 young people passionate about protecting their natural resources. Young champions have worked on community projects including education and awareness programs and erosion mitigation to reduce sedimentation impacts on coral reefs.
• The MC Measures Working Group has identified a set of regional marine, terrestrial, and socio-economic indicators to track progress toward achieving the goals of the Challenge. Baseline data for marine indicators have been collected for all jurisdictions, and terrestrial and socio-economic indicators and methodologies are currently being tested. A tool to assess the management effectiveness of protected areas has also been adapted and endorsed for helping to evaluate whether resources are being effectively conserved.
The Federated States of Micronesia
The Republic of the Marshall Islands
The Republic of Palau
The US Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
The US Territory of Guam
Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT)
The Nature Conservancy
Conservation International (CI)
Global Island Partnership (GLISPA)
Bat Conservation International
Chuuk Conservation Society
College of Marshall Islands
Conservation Society of Pohnpei
Conservation Strategy Fund
European Union Conservation and Environmental Protection Programme
German International Climate Initiative
Global Environment Facility
Helen Reef Resource Management Program
Japan International Cooperation Agency
Kaday Community and Cultural Development Organization (KC&CDO)
Kosrae Conservation and Safety Organization
Mariana Islands Nature Alliance (MINA)
Micronesian Image Institute
Micronesians in Island Conservation (MIC)
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
New York Botanical Garden
Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Areas Community (PIMPAC)
Pacific Marine Resources Institute (PMRI)
Palau Community College
Palau Conservation Society
Palau International Coral Reef Center
Palau Protected Areas Network Fund
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)
Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
The David & Lucile Packard Foundation
The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
The Government of Turkey
The Margaret A. Cargill Foundation
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Environment Programme
University of Guam Marine Laboratory
US Department of Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
US Environmental Protection Agency
US Fish and Wildlife Services
US Forest Service
US National Invasive Species Council
US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration
US Natural Resources Conservation Services
Yap Community Action Program
Yela Environment Landowners Authority