Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Micronesia Challenge

"My friends, the clock is ticking on all of us. At no time in the history of our planet have the consequences of our country and global actions had such dynamic implications for the future of our planet. Decisions that we make today, commitments that we make today and programs that we implement today may truly stem the tide of our current environmental disintegration." – H.E President Tommy Remengesau Jnr at the CBD COP8 in Curitiba.

9 December 2016, CBD COP13, Cancun Mexico - Ten years ago the Micronesia Challenge was launched, a commitment by the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands to effectively conserve at least 30% of the near-shore marine resources and 20% of the terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020.

IMG 9542                            The Pacific islands at CBD COP13 commemorating the 10th anniversary
                                            of the Micronesia Challenge together as one Pacific 


The tenth anniversary was commemorated in Cancun, Mexico at a special event "Celebrating 10 Years of Leadership: A Global Island Partnership High Level Event" coordinated by the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) at the Thirteenth Conference of the Parties to the convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP13).
It was at the CBD COP8 in Curitiba that H.E President tommy Remengesau Jnr announced to the world, the first regional initiative of its kind, a commitment by Micronesian leaders.

"I am proud that other regions answered that challenge, and today, we come together to celebrate not only the Micronesia region, but all the other initiatives whether regional or singular, the size does not matter, but rather it is the demonstration of leadership, led by islands, to not stand idly by and wait for others to figure it out," stated Ms Gwen Sisior on behalf of the Hon. F. Umiich Sengebau, Minister for Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism of Palau.

IMG 9562
                                                                         Ms Gwen Sisior

"That we can, together, make a big difference."

At 6.7 million kilometres2, the Micronesia Challenge represents over 20% of the Pacific Ocean within the SPREP region and is home to 1,300 species of fish and 483 species of coral. Micronesia itself is home to 66 species recorded on the IUCN Red List, 1,400 plant species for which 200 are endemic and 85% of bird species for which half are endemic.

The 10th anniversary of the Micronesia Challenge is a celebration for all Pacific islands with recognition of Fiji by the Republic of the Marshall Islands for their role in inspiring the Micronesia region's ambitions challenge through their own national commitments.

"At the second Conference for Small Islands Developing States in Mauritius in 2005, Fiji made a declaration to effectively protect 30% of its seas by the year 2020," said Ms Mae Adams on behalf of the Hon. Mattlan Zackhras, the Minister in Assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands who was unable to attend the event.
IMG 9566                                                                            Ms Mae Adams

"It is through their example that the Micronesia region, in 2006, decided to declare to the world that we would conserve 30% of our nearshore marine resources and 20% of terrestrial resource. Fiji we thank you for your vision and your leadership."

The Micronesia Challenge Community is a global network, both on-line and on-the-ground, of islanders and leaders who work with international governments and organisations, corporations, schools, and educators.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) congratulates their island members, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, on their ten year achievement.

"Starting an initiative such as this is a great achievement, it has been encouraging to watch the progress of the Micronesia Challenge over the years and we congratulate the Micronesian countries on this important anniversary. We look forward to continued achievement of the Micronesia Challenge," said Mr Stuart Chape, Director of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management Division of SPREP.

"Celebrating 10 Years of Leadership: A Global Island Partnership High Level Event" was held on 8 December at Moon Palace during the CBD COP13.- #PacificProtectedAreas

For more on the Micronesia Challenge please visit: http://www.micronesiachallenge.org/
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