07.02.14: From the July 2014 Newsetter

Pohnpei State PAN Design Workshop Held June 18-20, 2014 by Liz Terk

Photo by CSP

    The Pohnpei State Protected Area Network (PAN) Design Workshop was held in Pohnpei on June 18th-20th, 2014. The workshop was the first step in the process of using spatial planning to redesign Pohnpei’s PAN to better meet the goals of Pohnpei state and incorporate resiliency into the design.
    The workshop was jointly hosted by The Nature Conservancy, the Conservation Society of Pohnpei and Pohnpei State Governor John Ehsa. Participants included staff from local and regional NGOs, Pohnpei State government agencies and the leaders of Pohnpei State’s Marine Advisory Council (MAC).
    The purpose of this workshop was to agree on the goals of Pohnpei’s PAN, understand the principles of protected area design and gather data and knowledge from community leaders to help assess and make recommendations on how to redesign Pohnpei’s PAN.  Topics during the workshop included how the process for selecting PAN sites was improved and how new science is contributing to this. It was interesting to see that some of what was considered ‘new science’ was already known by members of the MAC who are traditional leaders and extremely knowledge fishermen.
     For example improved knowledge of fish movement patterns is being used to ensure MPAs are the right size to protect target fish species. MAC members already new the movements of several of these fish species, but were interested to learn how this knowledge could improve MPA design. When the local fishing knowledge was combined with the principles for design of resilient MPAs it was very clear as to why Pohnpei’s PAN needed to be redesigned to be more effective as well as the need for fisheries management in addition to MPAs.
    The next steps for the project includes presentations to the MAC, Pohnpei state Locally Managed Marine Area Executive Committe and the Pohnpei Watershed Alliance Committee on what was covered and learned during the workshop. After an initial analysis is conducted of the data, visits will be made to municipal governments and communities to conduct outreaches on resilient PA design and to get feedback on the first round of PAN design options based on the initial analysis.