Jan. 14, 2016: Welcome Steven Victor as the new TNC Micronesia Program Director

After a very competitive search andinterview process, Steven Victor has been selected as the new TNC Micronesia Program Director.

In the past 2 months, Steven has stepped up to serve as the Interim Director, and now as he assumes the role permanently, he will continue to help refine and implement TNC’s Pacific Division Strategy and focal projects in Micronesia.   

A native of Palau, Steven has been working in marine science and conservation for over 15 years in the region.  He received his BA in Biology in 1998 and his MSc in Biology in 2002, both from the University of Guam Marine Laboratory.  Steven worked with the Palau International Coral Reef Center from 2002 to 2009, first as a Researcher, and then as the Head of the Research Department. While at the Palau International Coral Reef Center, Steven focused his research on the impacts of sediment on coastal marine habitats, particularly on the role of mangroves in mitigating sedimentation.  In addition, he was instrumental in helping to establish capacity building efforts for coral reef monitoring in Palau and the Micronesia region.

Trained as a coach in TNC’s Conservation Action Planning (CAP) process in 2006,Steven used CAP as a very effective way to help bridge science to support communities’ management decisions.  In October 2009, Steven joined TNC as the Micronesia Conservation Planner, became the Deputy Director for Conservation in 2013, and the Deputy Director for the Micronesia Program in early 2015.  With his strong interest, knowledge, and experience in using science to improve management, he has been taking the lead on fisheries reform, marine protected areas network design, and marine protected areas management effectiveness evaluation for Micronesia, and will continue to provide leadership in these areas, as well as taking on additional management tasks

RMI in New York Times

Read story here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/12/02/world/The-Marshall-Islands-Are-Disappearing.html?_r=0

12.02:2015 Volume 48 of the Micronesia Challenge Newsletter

Can you believe it? We're starting our fifth year!  Click here for the December 2015 issue.  And Happy Holidays!!!!


The Micronesia Program Director provides vision, leadership, strategic direction and resources to the work of TNC and its partners in the Federated States of Micronesia, Republics of Palau and the Marshal Islands, Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. S/he is accountable for the Micronesia Program’s success in implementing TNC’s conservation approach, producing measurable conservation results and maintaining organizational values.  S/he ensures outcomes are achieved in priority areas that fall within the operating unit’s responsibilities, and contributes intellectual, financial, and/or human resources to the formulation and execution of priority cross-boundary efforts.

28.10.2015 Palau to Sign National Marine Sanctuary Law

Read story at PRNnewswire.com. Click here.

10.05.2015: Tony DeBrum Given 2015 Right Livelihood Honorary Award

A Pacific island state foreign minister who has challenged the world’s nuclear powers through unprecedented legal action; an indigenous leader who fights to protect the Arctic in the face of climate change; a Ugandan human rights activist working against the discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities in Africa; and an Italian doctor who has saved countless lives in war-torn countries are this year’s Laureates of the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’.

The 2015 Right Livelihood Honorary Award goes to

TONY DE BRUM and THE PEOPLE OF THE MARSHALL ISLANDS "in recognition of their vision and courage to take legal action against the nuclear powers for failing to honour their disarmament obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty."

Three Laureates will share the cash award of SEK 3 million (ca. EUR 320 000):

The jury recognizes 
SHEILA WATT-CLOUTIER (Canada) "for her lifelong work to protect the Inuit of the Arctic and defend their right to maintain their livelihoods and culture, which are acutely threatened by climate change."

The Jury awards 
KASHA JACQUELINE NABAGESERA (Uganda) "for her courage and persistence, despite violence and intimidation, in working for the right of LGBTI people to a life free from prejudice and persecution."

The Jury recognizes 
GINO STRADA, co-founder of EMERGENCY, (Italy) "for his great humanity and skill in providing outstanding medical and surgical services to the victims of conflict and injustice, while fearlessly addressing the causes of war." 

The Awards will be presented at a ceremony in Stockholm on 30 November 2015, hosted by the Society for the Right Livelihood Award in the Swedish Parliament.

09.14.2015. MARSHALL ISLANDS. Congratulations to Tony DeBrum!

Senator De Brum, today Foreign Secretary of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, spent the better part of his professional life fighting for clean-up and damages for radiation victims in the Marshall Islands, focusing on the cause as much as on the effects. For many years, banning all nuclear weapons and fighting global warming have been the focus of de Brum’s activity. He likes to use local earth and water colors when illustrating the effects of global warming on vast coastal an island regions. The islanders, who in the past had to abandon irradiated parts of their homelands, will soon have to leave low-lying parts threatened by the rising sea-level. The Marshall Islands are facing extinction. The population is expelled in two stages: first, they had to escape death by radiation, now they’ll have to escape death by drowning.

09.09.2015: The Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge Scholarship Fund Established.

In honor of Bill Raynor (February 22, 1957 – September 1, 2015), Director of The Nature Conservancy Pacific Division, and his 34 years of conservation work in the region, the Micronesia Challenge Scholarship Fund he helped establish to support emerging leaders in the region, has been renamed the Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge Scholarship Fund. As a longtime resident of the island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia, Bill learned the Pohnpeian language and earned a Pohnpeian honorific title Soumadau en Peini Eng Eihr—the Lord of the Altar of the East Wind—for, among other deeds, growing giant yams and being considered a true Pohnpeian master agroforester. In 1992, he helped launch the Conservancy’s program in the FSM, focusing on innovative, community-led conservation and building partnerships. Bill lived life, including his end of life, on his terms—fully, with love, and with a commitment to others and to the world. 

Bill was deeply committed to building future conservation champions in the region throughout his life, and established this scholarship fund in February as another way to help achieve this. For more information, please contact Mr. Willy Kostka at director@ourmicronesia.org. You can also give directly to the fund, by visiting MCT’s website at http://www.ourmicronesia.org/ and clicking on the “Donate” button in the upper right corner.

09.07.2015: Pacific Exchange Emerging Professionals (PEEP) Program

The Pacific Exchange Emerging Professionals (PEEP) Program seeks to provide professional development opportunities for the next generation of conservation leaders. The HawaiĘ»i Conservation Alliance (HCA) recognizes that the global conservation effort has much to gain by enhancing dialogue between similar social, cultural, and/or political systems. Through peer learning and the exchange of information and experiences, PEEP participants will become part of a larger network of conservation professionals who share resource stewardship concerns, across a large, complex biocultural area between Hawai‘i, and the Micronesian, Melanesian, or Polynesian archipelagos. HCA will support up to two successful PEEP applicants towards an exchange experience, funds permitting.
Visit the PEEP webpage for more information. This is an amazing opportunity for current emerging professionals in the field of conservation to broaden their horizons and learn from experts from around the Pacific.
Applications due October 30th 2015.