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Hairy Grayfish. Photo credit: Richard Brooks
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation recently awarded CSF a grant to expand our ocean conservation work, with a focus on the islands of Micronesia. Packard will join CSF in delivering conservation economics training in Palau, a global priority for protection of reefs and associated coastal ecosystems. CSF will work with environmental managers and decision makers on integrating economic data and insights into management of fisheries and marine protected areas. Complementing the training will be a detailed analysis of sustainability and the distribution of profits from the economically significant sea cucumber industry.
In April I had the unique opportunity to facilitate a one-week scenario-building workshop on the beautiful island of Yap in the Western Pacific. Yap is one of four states in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and lies in the far western part of the Pacific Ocean, close to Guam and Palau. We were invited by the Yap State Chamber of Commerce, who is working to guide and support Yap’s development amidst a sea of uncertainty and change. One of the Chamber’s members, Berna Gorong, attended our Economic Tools for Conservation in Micronesia in Pohnpei in March of 2012.
February was a month of non-stop travel for me. Having just started working with CSF I got shipped off on a whirlwind tour of Micronesia and Bali. Not a bad start I suppose!
Micronesia is a sub-region of Oceania, east of the Philippines and northeast of Indonesia. It is comprised of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. Kiribati, the Mariana Islands, the Marshall Islands, Caroline Islands, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, and Wake Island are all considered part of Micronesia. In total, Micronesia is 1,230 square miles, or about twice the size of Los Angeles.
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.