Protecting Micronesian Waters

Healthy coral reefs in the Federated States of Micronesia. Photo by Peter Houk.

Oceans 5 is supporting the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) and its partners on a campaign to extend the commercial fishing exclusion zone around all islands in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) from the current 12nm zone to 24nm. Expanding the current no commercial fishing zone to at least 24nm for each country will result in 10 percent protection of waters in both the FSM and RMI (over 298,000 and 259,000km2, respectively). FSM completed the expansion in 2017. In addition, this project is working towards the development of Protected Areas Networks (PANs) and sustainable financing mechanisms for the FSM and RMI. The goal of the PANs are to afford both countries access to their 5 percent share of the Micronesia Challenge Endowment Fund, which provides long-term revenue streams of revenues for long-term conservation efforts.

The grant to MCT supports the Micronesian jurisdictions in achieving their Micronesia Challenge goals. The Micronesia Challenge is a regional commitment by the governments of the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (CNMI), and the U.S. territory of Guam to put under effective protection 30 percent of their nearshore marine resources and 20 percent of their terrestrial areas by 2020. When achieved, the Micronesia Challenge will have placed 14,000km2 hectares of nearshore/coastal and terrestrial areas under effective protection. See (www.micronesiachallenge.org) for more information.

Oceans 5 expects to provide four years of funding from April 2016.