Thursday, June 22, 2006

Saipan will host 8th MIC Retreat in August

MIC members have chosen the island of Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) for their next retreat. Conservation leaders from the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, CNMI and for the first time Guam and the Marshall Islands will meet at the Aqua Resort Club August 19-25. Like all MIC retreats, this is also organized to meet priority needs identified by MIC members, including knowledge, skills, and technical support, and to work together on local, national and regional conservation issues.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Board Training for MINA

As agreed during the last MIC retreat, MIC Coordinator Susi Olmsted flew to Saipan in early June to deliver a Board Development Training to the Board of Directors of the Mariana Islands Nature Alliance (MINA.) Board Trainings are part of the technical assistance that the MIC Network provides free of charges to its member organizations. MINA became an official member of MIC last January, after its Chairman Jesse Borja was invited to the MIC retreat in Palau and MINA's Board approved the membership.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Learning Exchange helps PCS with Board Management

At the last MIC retreat, Tiare Holm - Executive Director of the Palau Conservation Society - asked if MIC could help her organization with 'Advanced Board Management'. Although at that time we weren't sure who could do it, luck was on our side. Alex Mas works for The Nature Conservancy in California as the director of the Southern Sierra Nevada Program. In that role he has led a number of terrestrial conservation projects and works extensively with partner NGOs, providing assistance with strategic planning, personnel and board management, and other aspects of organizational development. In December last year, Alex was awarded a Coda Fellowship to come to Micronesia, so we put Alex in contact with PCS. During his visit to Palau, Alex had individual meetings with Tiare and a number of Board members to get input on their current training needs. He then prepared materials to use in the orientation of all new board members -- particularly on the distinctions between governance and management functions -- which he then presented at a Board meeting. All were well-received and the Board has planned to schedule follow-up training sessions this fall. Thanks Alex for making another Learning Exchange possible!

Friday, June 2, 2006

Photography workshops for MIC conservation partners in Pohnpei and Palau

In May 2006, MIC offered its members and partners from Pohnpei (FSM) and Palau the chance to attend a one-day photography workshop. Although this is not one of the services MIC provides to its members, we took advantage of a very good opportunity. In December 2005, TNC's Alex Mas from the California Program was awarded a Coda Fellowship to visit Micronesia during the months of May and June and learn about conservation in this part of the world. When we learned that Alex would travel with his fiancee Nina Naylor, who is an outstanding photographer, we asked her if she would help our conservation partners to improve their photography skills.
She was so kind not only to accept, but to do it for free. Each workshop - the first in Pohnpei on May 19, the second in Palau on May 29 - was a success. In total almost 50 participants from NGOs and state and national governments attended.

To see the pictures Nina took in Micronesia go to