03.12.13 MARSHALL ISLANDS Protected Area Network Workshop Held March 4-8, 2013

A Protected Areas Management Network development workshop was held in Majuro March 4-8 to develop the necessary components for the management structure of a Marshall Islands Protected Areas Network and to begin discussion of funding mechanisms. The workshop was facilitated by Mae Bruton-Adams of The Nature Conservancy and attended by representatives of RMI organizations including the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority, the Ministry of Resources and Development, the Historic Preservation Office, the Marshall Islands Conservation Society, the Office of Environmental Planning and Policy Coordination, the RMI Environmental Protection Authority, the College of the Marshall Islands, and the University of the South Pacific.

The goal is to use the results of the workshop to begin drafting Protected Areas Network legislation for the RMI in order to integrate existing and future protected areas in the Republic into a single system. This will facilitate the management, monitoring, and funding of protected area sites in order to ensure their effectiveness and better protect the natural resources of the RMI. The workshop was a big success and represents an important step forward for the Marshall Islands in ensuring the sustainable use of its resources and working towards the goals of the Micronesia Challenge.