The Pacific Voyage Media Team, 25 October 2010 Nagoya Japan
L - R - FSM delegation Willie Kostka, with Bernadette Carreon, Cytha Ehmes and Ricky Karl
The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) depend on their natural resources, making their attendance at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 10) essential.
FSM comprises the four states – Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae and contains over 1,000 plant species for which at least 200 are endemic species. Its coral reefs, estimated at 14, 517km2 are home to nearly 1,000 species of fish and over 350 hard species of coral.
“While the nation may not have specific issues here at the Nagoya talks,” said FSM’s Ricky Carl, “it is working with aligning itself with organizations that will be of assistance in Capacity building.”
It is important for FSM to work towards achieving the goals of the Micronesian Challenge , an initiative to effectively conserve at least 30% of their nearshore marine resources and 20% of their terrestrial resources by 2020.
Although each state is unique in making sure the initiative targets are met, it is well on its way of meeting 10 percent of its terrestrial targets and 15 percent marine targets.
He notes that FSM is well known for conserving protected areas but this effort is due to the customary laws and traditions to sustain biodiversity.
The issues of protected areas are also linked with invasive species and climate change which affect the small island nations such as FSM.
“We are learning that in order to protect and manage protected areas we have to deal with the invasive species issues and climate change,” Karl states.
Karl emphasizes that FSM also needs to do its part of ensuring that it complies with the CBD targets that focus on marine protected areas.
“Most of the community depends on the marine areas for livelihood and food,” he says.
As a small island nation, it too suffers from lack of financial and capacity resources to sustain its biodiversity programs making it essential to partner up with other Pacific island nations and organizations that will make their voice known.