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CSF's Economic Tools for Conservation course heads to Micronesia.

Conservation Strategy Fund's Economic Tools for Conservation training course will be offered next year in Micronesia thanks to a grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and a partnership with 2010 international course graduate Willy Kostka and the Micronesian Conservation Trust (MCT).

The course will be CSF's first in the Western Pacific region.

The training will support conservation of marine and forest resources in Micronesia by equipping conservation practitioners, natural resource managers and community leaders with the principles and tools of conservation economics.

The thousands of islands comprising Micronesia are characterized by rich natural resources from both land and sea. However, this natural wealth is threatened by a series of interlocking challenges. Integration of the once-isolated islands in the region with global markets has led to rapid development. Coupled with population growth, this transition is placing increasing pressures on natural resources. Pollution, deforestation, infrastructure development, invasive species, deep-sea mining and over-fishing all threaten the region’s ecosystems and future natural and economic health. Outside pressures, including global warming and foreign exploitation of fishery resources, are additional serious concerns for these island nations. Participants will leave the course with new economic knowledge and skills to evaluate these and key issues affecting the environment on their islands

The training will include a workshop component to help participants develop concrete applications of these economic tools to issues such as fisheries management policies, incentives for coastal area protection, assessing the costs and benefits of infrastructure or tourism development, and estimating the benefits of ecosystem services provided by mangrove forests and coral reefs.

Participants will be drawn from the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana islands.