Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Chuuk Conservation Society

The Chuuk Conservation Society (CCS) was registered as an environmental NGO in September of 2005. The establishment of the organization was made possible through the active support of concerned citizens who represented areas in academics, religion, conservation, traditions and culture, communities, and others.
The first major gathering of these concerned citizens took place in September 2004 at the Micronesians in Island Conservation (MIC) retreat. Following, the Chuuk Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP), it stated that one of its objectives was ‘by the year 2006 an operational environmental NGO will be established’, and that the lead agency for this particular objective be the Chuuk Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The mission of CCS is to ‘preserve and protect Chuuk’s natural resources to sustain community livelihoods by working with community partners’. The organization aims to achieve this through the following objectives:
1. Protect the cultural and natural resources of our communities by establishing an initial framework for a state-wide protected/managed area network.
2. Build the effectiveness and accountability of CCS by providing the necessary tools and resources to carry out its mission.

CCS May be a new organization but it has already established good working relationships with numerous key partners who share the same vision for effective environmental conservation/protection. Its Board includes members from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Marine Resources (DMR), Chuuk Women Council (CWC), College of Micronesia-FSM (COM-FSM), and other community-based organizations.

Through its membership in the Micronesia in Island Conservation (MIC) Network and Pacific Islands Marine Protected Areas Community (PIMPAC), CCS completed its first 2 year integrated strategic and financial plan; had its Board Training; and participated in the training on development of management plans. CCS is also furthering its conservation efforts with the PEW Fellowship.
There are a number of communities in Chuuk that have already started efforts to protect their marine areas. Two of these areas are the Parem Marine Areas and the Epinup Mangrove andMarine Areas, both of which are Areas of Biological Significance (ABS).

The Department of Marine Resources with the PPO community has made initial conservations efforts regarding the Polle Piannu Pass, which is a major grouper spawning area located on the vast Chuuk barrier reef. Another community-led marine area is situated at the Fefan UFO reefs, which is maintained as a conservation area although it is not listed as an ABS.
These are but a few examples of on-going community-led marine protected areas projects that are in affect here in Chuuk. These efforts are likewise complimented by traditional methods of conservation that our forefathers used and are still quite prevalent and very effective today. Such traditional practices of “pwau” and “mechen” are local methods that go hand in hand with the global environmental conservation movement and exemplify a vision for the old ways and the new to intertwine in unified, joint efforts to preserve, protect and maintain the pristine splendor of our islands and her natural beauty.
CCS is currently staffed by Curtis Graham, who is the Program Manager tasked with implementing and assisting with projects that the CCS organization is involved with. Curtis went to school at Xavier High School in Chuuk and later on Punahou High School in Hawaii. He graduated with a BA degree in 2005 from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and has since returned to Chuuk to live.
The Chuuk Conservation Society is a relatively young organization with high hopes for a future of service for the people of Chuuk. CCS hopes to do what it can to help preserve Chuuk’s natural island beauty through collaboration with the people as well as the numerous outside organizations that share a common desire to keep Chuuk a paradise haven of natural beauty and splendor.
Please feel free to contact them regarding any assistance or inquiries that you may have. They can be reached via phone at (691) 330-7227, email (curt_ccs@mail.fm) or simply stop by the office which is located across the Bank of FSM.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Hello Mae,

I'm looking for a contact email but could not find one. I would like to discuss some projects and possible colaboration that will help in your Island conservation projects.

Regards,

Ryan

ryanwhiteorchid@gmail.com