Micronesia Challenge Steering Committee Meets during 19th MCES
On the margins of the 19th Micronesia Chief Executives Summit held in Saipan (December 3-6, 2013), the Micronesia Challenge Steering Committee (MCSC) convened their regular meeting to select new officers.
During the meeting, Mr. Bruce Kijiner, Director of the Office of Environment Planning and Policy Coordination (OEPPC) for the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI)was elected as Chairman, T.H. Umiich Sengebau, Minster of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism for the Republic of Palau (ROP) was elected Vice Chairman and Ms. Fran Castro, Program Manager for Watersheds and Coral Reefs of the Division of Environment Quality (DEQ) for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) was elected as Secretary. The other members of the MC Steering Committee include focal points Ms. Evangeline Lujan, Guam Waterworks Authority, and Ms. Alissa Takesy, Deputy Secretary, Department of Resource and Development, FSM National Government, and non-voting members representing partner organizations: Mr. Willy Kostka, Executive Director of the Micronesia Conservation Trust and Ms. Trina Leberer, Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Micronesia Program.
MC Steering Committee members at 19th MCES in Saipan (L-R: Willy Kostka, Fran Castro, Jennifer de Brum,
Yim Golbuu, Alissa Takesy, seated Vangie Lujan and Ricky Carl). Picture supplied by Fran Castro.
During the summit, the MC Steering Committee also provided their annual progress report to the Chief Executives, including completion of the Micronesia Challenge Business Plan, with a goal to raise an additional $42 million for the MC endowment, which currently stands at $14 million. In their communique, the Chief Executives pledged to:
• Endorse and support the Micronesia Challenge Business Plan and all associated efforts to achieve fundraising goals and the Plans overall implementation;
• Support the Micronesia Challenge proposal that greater coordination and communications be initiated between the MC and the Regional Invasive Species Council (RISC) to develop invasive species targets and measures at the jurisdictional and regional levels, where appropriate, and to identify funding opportunities for regional and jurisdictional biosecurity and invasive species coordination; and
• Support the holding of a side event at the next Pacific Island Forum, to be held in Palau to actively pursue funding resources to implement the MC Business Plan.
Next steps for the MC Steering Committee and partners include:
• Hiring an Australian Volunteer to support the MC Regional Office by March 2014;
• Work with GLISPA, Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy to initiate the second phase of fund raising for the MC at the next Conference of the Parties to the Rio Conventions (UNCDB, UNFCCC, UNCCD);
• Launch the MC Business Plan at the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) meeting in Apia, Samoa in August 2014;
• Profile the MC at the UNCBD COP in South Korea in October 2014;
• Work with RISC to develop invasive species targets and measures at the jurisdictional and regional levels, where appropriate, and to identify funding opportunities for
regional and jurisdictional biosecurity and invasive species coordination.
For more information on the outcomes from the 19th
Micronesia Chief Executive Summit (MCES) held in Saipan December, please go to http://gov.mp/19thmces/