Thursday, September 11, 2008

Just One of Many Reasons for Conservation Work

There are so many reason to do conservatoin work. Often times we talk about preserving the biodiversity of the plant; or how crucial a health environment is to the stability of the world markets; then we get stories about children spending time enjoying nature. When I look into the eyes of the future, I am driven to do my part to leave the future generations a healthy plant.

Allois Malfatani is co-owner of the Pohnpei Surf Club. On occassion he takes time out of his busy schedule to teach children how to surf. Allois has also been involved in conservation activities in Pohnpei doing volunteer work with the Conservation Society of Pohnpei. He sent me this message (with pictures).
In most places around the world, surfing lessons take place on a beach, with long soft rolling waves, onto a white sandy beach. Not in Pohnpei, but that was not an obstacle for the kids who attended the Pohnpei Surf Club Surf Day for Kids at Nahlap Island Resort on 30th of August.

All kids had an introduction to surfboards on flat water learning how to paddle, sit on the surfboards, they got towed around on top of some fun water toys and when the tide got high enough to cover the reef, all kids hit the surf!

Around 30 kids had no problem with the absence of the white sandy beach or dealing with the shallow and sharp reef on the inside where the waves were breaking. All had fun and some potential champions were spotted.

The Pohnpei Surf Club would like to give thanks to all participants who came along, the volunteers who helped and Nahlap Island Resort for providing us with the location for the event.

Micronesia Challenge: Turning Vision into Action

Leading the World in Island and Coral Reef Conservation To recognize the tremendous progress by the government of Palau over the past two years towards fulfilling their Micronesia Challenge commitments, The Nature Conservancy presented the country with the first $1 million check to launch a regional Micronesia Challenge Endowment to help sustainably finance the Challenge.

This is part of the Conservancy’s $3 million commitment made at the outset of the Challenge — a commitment by five Micronesian governments to effectively conserve 30% of their near-shore marine resources and 20% of their terrestrial resources by 2020.

The Conservancy's pledge was matched by Conservation International. Palau and its partner governments have already leveraged these commitments to raise an additional $6 million in funding from the Global Environment Facility as well as other agencies, organizations and governments towards a target of $100 million for the endowment.

Along with this fundraising success, Palau is poised to become the first developing country in the world to create a nationwide, financially self-sustaining Protected Areas Network (PAN) that will truly benefit nature and people. President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. signed legislation to establish this network and ensure its long-term management by instituting a visitor’s fee that will generate approximately $1.6 million annually for the PAN.

As the founding co-chair of the growing Global Island Partnership, Palau and President Remengesau are setting a new standard for tangible conservation action and keeping the Micronesia Challenge at the forefront of island and coral reef conservation worldwide.
As President Remengesau’s eight years in office comes to an end in January, the Conservancy invites all involved with the Micronesia Challenge and the Global Island Partnership to join us in applauding his exemplary leadership — and to renew our own resolve to work together to fulfill the precedent-setting commitments made by these five visionary Micronesian governments — the Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the U.S. Territory of Guam, and the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Learn more about the progress of the Micronesia Challenge as well as the initiatives it sparked around the world with the help of the Global Island Partnership, including the Caribbean Challenge and the Coral Triangle Initiative.
Photo Credit © Jez O'Hare; © ANP
The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to preserve the plants,
animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life
on Earth byprotecting the lands and waters they need to survive.
Copyright 08 The Nature Conservancy - - privacy

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

CSP Equator Prize Winner

Conservation Society of Pohnpei has been chosen by the Equator Initiative’s Technical Advisory Committee as one of 25 outstanding winners of the Equator Prize 2008.
Patterson Shed, executive director of CSP will be travelling to Spain to recieve the award on CSP's behalf.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Micronesia Challenge: Coordinator & Communications Specialist

Charlene Mersai of Palau selected as
Regional Coordinator for Micronesia Challenge
Specialist Also Selected to Head Communications Outreach

Palikir, FSM – Charlene Mersai, an environmental veteran with more than 10 years experience in the conservation field, has been selected as the Micronesia Challenge Regional Coordinator, the Micronesia Challenge Steering Committee announced today. Mersai was most recently a researcher at the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC).

“Ms. Mersai brings a great deal of experience in the environmental field to the table,” said Marion Henry, Assistant Secretary with the FSM Department of Resources and Development and Chairman of the Micronesia Challenge Steering Committee. “Her in-depth knowledge of research and conservation management issues combined with the positive working relationships she has already established with key environmental groups in the region will prove to be a tremendous asset in moving the Micronesian Challenge forward.”

While at the PICRC, Mersai’s responsibilities included leading the socio-economic component of the marine protected areas pilot project, evaluation of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) management effectiveness, and overseeing the national Mangrove Phytosociological Survey. Additional responsibilities included conducting underwater surveys, and the development of the Introductory Handbook for Biological and Social Monitoring of MPAs in Palau. Prior to her position at PICRC, Charlene worked with the Belau National Museum, the Palau Conservation Society, and the Koror State Government, all in conservation-oriented positions.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology & Biology from the University of Hawaii-Hilo, followed by a Post Graduate Diploma in Ocean Resources Management from the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji.

The Micronesian Challenge Steering Committee also announced that Jeff Martin, a communications specialist with more than 20 years experience in the public relations field, has signed on to help direct communications outreach. Martin was previously the Director of Media Relations for the Council on Foundations where he provided strategic counsel to member foundations regarding national philanthropic issues and served as organization spokesperson.

Before joining the Council, Martin served as the Public Affairs Specialist for the Peace Corps. He has also worked with international firms including Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt, and Edelman Public Relations Worldwide.

The Micronesia Challenge Steering Committee was established in 2006 to oversee the regional coordination and implementation of the Micronesia Challenge, and is made up of the five Micronesia Challenge Focal Points appointed by the Chief Executives of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Republic of Palau, the Executive Director of the Micronesia Conservation Trust, and the Chairman of the Micronesia Challenge Support Team.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Conservation Society of Pohnpei Board Training

09 July 2008, the Conservation Society of Pohnpei had its board training, to refresh old members of their responsibilities while serving on the CSP board and to educate new members on what is expected of them while they serve on the board for the next three years.

The objectives of the training were the following:

• To gain a clear understanding of the CSP Board’s responsibilities
• To determine CSP Board’s structure
• To define the individual responsibilities of Board members
• To have clear job descriptions: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer
• To have clear definition of conflict of interest and how to mitigate them
• To learn how to have productive meetingsTo be familiar with the Board Manual

Thursday, July 10, 2008

MC Workshop June 2008 Objectives

Communications Working Group, working to consolidate and streamline communications efforts for the Challenge, had five associated objectives for the workshop session.
  1. To review and finalize a modular regional MC Communications Plan;
  2. To develop a template for island wide communications plans that clearly link to the regional MC Communications Plan and also jurisdictional priorities;
  3. To build a cohesive regional communications team by sharing information and lessons learned among communications and outreach working group members and carrying out team building exercises that support capacity building;
  4. To begin the development of a regional inventory of summaries, photos, presentations, and other outreach materials; and
  5. To provide recommendations to the MC measures working group to foster the development of effectiveness measures that support messaging to key audiences.
Measures Working Group were to define a proposed process and timeline for the periodic measurements and analysis of progress made toward achieving the goals of the MC.
They had 5 associated objectives:
  1. To establish a technical working group focused on developing a process for and coordinating the periodic completion of measurement and analysis of progress made toward achieving the goals for the MC;
  2. To identify the regional overlaps and gaps associated with biological and social indicators related to natural resource management being collected across terrestrial and marine ecosystems by participating agencies and organization operating within each of the participating jurisdictions;
  3. To identify a shared set of results chains that are related to the MC goals;
  4. To build consensus around a proposed set of relevant and useful categories of MC measures as a possible set of corresponding indicators to be collected across jurisdictions, as appropriate; and
  5. To produce recommendations to the MC communications working group on how the outputs of the MC measures working group should be used for messaging purposes.

Opening of the 1st Meeting of the Micronesia Challenge

On 2 June His Excellency President Mori addressed delegates at the opening of the 1st Meeting of the Micronesia Challenge Technical and Communications Working Groups at the FSM national government conference centre at Palikir, Pohnpei.

Since 2006, when the Heads of Government from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the United States Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, signed up to the Micronesia Challenge, a commitment to effectively conserve 30 percent of near-shore marine resources and 20 percent of terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020, work has been progressing to support the implementation of these ambitious goals.

President Mori urged the working groups, comprised of local and international technical experts, government officials and representatives of partners in the Micronesia Challenge to press ahead with their urgent work.

The meeting consisted of two working groups. One focused on effectiveness measures for the actions of the Micronesia Challenge, the other addressed communications support for achieving the goals of the Challenge.

President Mori noted that although the Micronesia Challenge was largely developed and has been nurtured by government and NGO officials since 2004, it is not a challenge to outsiders. The commitment it is a challenge that Micronesians have set for themselves to do the right thing to conserve their natural resources and way of life in the areas where they have legal control and capacity to so.

“Effective implementation of the Challenge requires that you go back to developing or reinforcing support at the grass-roots of each local community,” said President Mori.

He asked representatives from government agencies and conservation groups from the five jurisdictions to ensure that the goals for conservation of marine and terrestrial resources be developed with the communities affected, and that the indicators to measure the achievement of those goals be clear and relevant to those communities.

President Mori noted that despite initiatives like the Micronesia Challenge, some citizens and political leaders are not yet heeding the call for conservation. With this, President Mori made a personal commitment.

“I really like to eat turtle but for the sake of conservation and the Micronesia Challenge, I challenge myself not to eat turtle anymore. Additionally, from today, I renounce eating fish that may have been ‘dynamited’.”

Over five days the Working Groups met to develop activities to drive the Challenge forward. The Technical Working Group developed a process for measuring the effectiveness of on the ground conservation activities using biological and social indicators for the marine and terrestrial resources. The Communication Working Group developed a regional communications plan to better engage with key partners for the Challenge and to improve coordination across all five jurisdictions.

During the week the Micronesia Challenge Steering Committee comprised of the five jurisdictional representatives or ‘focal points’ met and elected Mr Marion Henry as the new Chairperson of the Steering Committee. Other items discussed by the Committee included hiring a regional coordinator, updates from each jurisdictional focal point on their sustainable financing plans and development of a business plan for the Micronesia Challenge.

For further information contact Marion Henry, Chairman, Micronesia Challenge Steering Committee. Email:

The Micronesia Challenge is a collective commitment by the Heads of Government of five Micronesian jurisdictions -- the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the United States Territory of Guam and Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas -- to effectively conserve at least 30% of their marine and 20% of their forest environments by 2020. It was announced to the international community in March 2006 at the 8th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
MC Vice-chair: FranSupport
Partner: Bill Raynor

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

SEM-Pasifika Training Program -- Majuro

From May 4-9, a SEM-Pasifika (socio-economic monitoring) training program began in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands. Eighteen trainees attended from around the region including American Samoa, Hawaii, Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Yap. Also attending, were representatives from various Marshall Islands resource agencies and local community members from Arno atoll.

The objectives of the week-long training were to: 1) provide the participants with background, purposes and methodological procedures of socioeconomic monitoring based on SEM-Pasifika Guidelines, 2) build capacity of the participants to use SEM-Pasifika guidelines, and 3) initiate socioeconomic assessment and monitoring /work plans /for 8 Pacific Island jurisdictions.

To fulfill these objectives this training program was designed to be carried out in three phases. The first phase (the RMI training) was aimed at introducing and practicing socio-economic tools and techniques. Participants were asked to attend the training with information from a specific site that had a complete or draft management plan. They used information from their site management plan to carry out socio-economic assessment preparatory activities (e.g. identify goals, objectives, information needs, and indicators) and develop a work plan to complete an assessment. For the field exercise, the RMI team provided workshop participants with information about the management goals from the Arno atoll management plan. The workshop group used this information to carry out a focus group, and develop, pre-test, and analyze a survey to capture baseline information and assess management effectiveness of Arno, Arno MPAs.

Specific outputs of the workshop include:
  • a pre-tested draft survey to be used by the Marshall Islands team to carry out socio-economic assessments in Arno and other atolls.

  • 8 workplans that include next steps and time-lines for completing social assessments at jurisdictional sits.

  • draft preparatory activities completed by each jurisdiction including socio-economic assessment goals, objectives, informationneeds, indicators, stakeholder identification, and communications planning

  • an agreement to pick 2-3 regional socio-economic indicators that all groups will try and incorporate into local assessments and monitor over time.
For the second phase of the SEM-Pasifika training program, off-site technical advice will be provided to further guide development of surveys, and seed funding will be provided to implement site assessments in all jurisdictions.

Finally, on-site technical support will be provided to help trainees analyze survey data and communicate and apply results into management planning. Workshop attendees agreed to share assessment reports and lessoned learned about their sites to support further learning in the region. Outcomes of this training will support development and adaptive management of on-site management activities.

Additionally, the training outputs will provide socio-economic information to conservation efforts and measures of success that contribute to the goals of the Micronesia Challenge.
This training is sponsored and facilitated through a partnership between NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program - SocMon, the Micronesians in Island Conservation (MIC), the Pacific Islands Marine Protected Area Community (PIMPAC), and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP.)

10th MIC Retreat -- Guam

On April 14, 2008 members of the Micronesians in Island Conservation (MIC) met in Guam for the 10th MIC retreat. Every nine months members of MIC, from the Republic of the Marshalls, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, Territory of Guam and the Common Wealth of the Northern Marianas, meet to review progress on goals, share lessons learned, and identify issues for collaboration at local, national or regional levels. The retreats provide: 1) opportunities for members to point out specific needs and identify mentors for future learning exchanges; 2) a means for members to stay connected with ongoing conservation work in other Micronesian countries and; 3) it allows members to reconnect with their peers and be a source of encouragement to each other.

During the retreat MIC members were inspired by many Guam community conservation leaders such as Linda Tatreau, a high school teacher at George Washington High school who created a program called Marine Maniacs which has inspired her students to take a more proactive approach to preserving the natural heritage of Guam; by Daniel Vice, assistant director of Department of Fish and Wildlife who shared with members about Guam’s continuing efforts to control the brown tree snake population in Guam; and finally by Cheryl Calaustro, the Guam Rare Pride Campaign Coordinator, who discussed with MIC the Cocos Island bird restoration project.

Mr. Tukabu Teroroko, Director of the Phoenix Island Protected Area (PIPA), Kiribait, was invited to the retreat to share with the MIC members about the ongoing conservation work in the Phoenix Islands. Mr. Teroroko shared with members the success of PIPA and discussed with members the current challenges that face Kiribati in maintaining and regulating the vast protected area. At the end of the retreat, Mr. Teroroko was invited to become a member of MIC, which he accepted. Mr. Teroroko stated that he felt MIC was an important initiative and one that would add value to his ongoing work in Kiribati. Mr. Teroroko also pledged that his organization would assist MIC by writing into his PIPA budget his attendance to future MIC retreats.

MIC gained three new members: 1) Fran Castro, director of Department of Environment Quality and the Micronesia Challenge focal point for CNMI; 2) Cheryl Calaustro, Guam Department of Agriculture and the RARE Pride Campaign Coordinator and; 3) Tukabu Teroroko, director of the Phoenix Island Protected Areas.

The next MIC Retreat will be held sometime in January 2009, in Pohnpei. The main focus of the 11th MIC Retreat will be sustainable financing for the MIC network, identifying a regional goal, and building the capacity of the members to help them achieve their institutional goals.

The Passing of a Conservation Champion

When Dakio Paul returned to the small pacific island of Pohnpei in 1990 after nearly two decades of working and living in Saipan, he immediately went back to the place that represented the best of his childhood memories--Black Coral Island, known locally as Kehpara.

From February to April of each year, the reefs around Black Coral were famous for the largest recorded fish spawning aggregation in the Western Pacific – between 15,000-20,000 adult individuals aggregated for 2-3 months along a 200 meter stretch of reef just east of Black Coral Island.

In partnership with Pohnpei’s Marine Resources Division, Dakio announced to the adjacent communities that Black Coral was now closed to fishing. At first, the local community, many of Dakio’s own family members, were resistant. Fisherman challenged Dakio’s right to close the area, which by law was “public waters.” Night and day, local fisherman trespassed into the area and still fished.

With only his boat and a 15 horse-power engine, Dakio patrolled the waters and enforced his fishing ban 24 hours a day. After nearly three years of constant vigilance, local fishermen began to notice a difference – fish population and sizes increased not only in the protected area but also in adjacent areas, a spill-over effect. Astonished fishermen, converted by their own observations, spread the news of Dakio’s success to their colleagues around the island.

On a larger scale, Dakio’s pioneering efforts have helped to build national support to move forward on a national system of parks and protected areas for the entire Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). In 2004, the FSM joined 188 other nations in ratifying the Convention on Biological Diversity Program of Work on Protected Areas. Thanks to Dakio’s dedicated work, and that of other environmentalists like him, the community-led marine protected area movement in FSM offers hope for the future.

Sadly on March 18, 2008 Dakio passed away. His memory will continue to live on in efforts of so many people, such as the Marine Conservation Unit of the Conservation Society of Pohnpei.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

MCT and MINA Learning Exchange

Last month Angelo Villagomez, Executive Director of Mariana Islands Nature Alliance (MINA), participated in a Learning Exchange with Lisa and Mary Rose of the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) in Pohnpei. As part of the learning exchange, Angelo was to help Lisa and Mary Rose with the MCT website website. They already have a website and they justed wantedmeone to show them how to edit it and how to add documents.

The Micronesians in Island Conservation Network (MIC) make learning exchanges available to all its members. Once a year, all of the members are allowed to invite one of the other members to come to their island to teach them something.

In this case, Angelo was invited by MCT to share his knowledge of computers and the Internet. Working together Lisa and Mary Rose, he helped figure out which html editing program MCT had on their computers, found the html files containing the MCT website, and went over how to edit, create new pages, add pictures, and add files.

The MCT website can be found at:

Friday, February 29, 2008

Chuuk Conservation Society Needs an Executive Director

Chuuk Conservation Society

‘Protecting and preserving our natural resources
to sustain community livelihoods by working with
community partners’

Board Of Directors:
Christina Stinnett
Vice-Chairman: Joakim Peter
Treasurer: Martha Kanas
Members: Ismael Mikel, Julita Albert, Romio Osiena

29 February 2008

To: General Public

From: Chuuk Conservation Society (CCS)

Subject: Job Opening for Executive Director

The Chuuk Conservation Society is a chartered non-government organization dedicated to preserving and protecting Chuuk’s natural environment. The Executive Director will be responsible for setting goals, budgeting and building an integrated marine and terrestrial conservation program for the organization. The Executive Director will supervise all CCS staff, and work closely with the CCS Board and staff to ensure the development of a strong program. The Executive Director will be responsible for recruiting and leading a team of outstanding staff, assisting with fundraising efforts, undertaking financial and grants management oversight and resolving program administrative issues. The position will be based in Chuuk and will involve some travel in the immediate region and to the US for meetings and fundraising.

To Apply:
Submit a Cover Letter
A Detailed Resume
3 Letters of Reference

Submit To:
Chuuk Conservation Society (CCS)
P.O Box 222 Chuuk, FM 96942

Closing Date:
April 1, 2008 (Tuesday)

For more information, please call the office at 330 7227 or 930 4430.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

10th MIC Retreat to be Held in Guam

Every nine months the members of MIC get togther for a one week retreat. The retreats take place in different locations with 5 of Micronesian jurisdictions: the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Common Wealth of the Nothern Marianas and the Terriotory of Guam.
MIC's main tool are the retreats. Leaders meet to review progress on their goals, share lesson learned and identify issues for collaboration at the local, national and regional levels. It also gives the members a chance to share organizational best practices.
The 10th MIC Retreat will be in Guam, from the 14th -17th of April 2008, at the Marriott Resort & Spa.
To obtain a copy of the agenda, please contact Mae Bruton Adams at

SEM-Pasifika Traning to be Held In RMI

Socioeconomic Monitoring in the Pacific Region (SEM-Pasifika) Training

*Background: *SEM-Pasifika is a set of community-based socioeconomic monitoring guidelines developed specifically for the Pacific incorporates indicators used by the Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMA) Network, The Secretariat of the Pacific Community, and the Global Socioeconomic Monitoring Initiative (SocMon) into a user-friendly format. This training program will be held in three parts: a training workshop held in May 2008, on-site implementation, and follow-up technical assistance to be provided at the end of 2008. The program is facilitated through a partnership with Micronesians in Island Conservation (MIC) the Pacific Islands Marine Protected Areas Community (PIMPAC), the South Pacific Environment Programme (SPREP), the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). **

*Dates of training workshop:* May 5-9, 2008

*Location of training workshop:* Republic of the Marshall Islands

*Participants*- We have funding available for one representative from each of the following areas: Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, CNMI, Marshall Islands, Palau, Chuuk, Yap, Kosrae, Pohnpei.

*We’re asking each jurisdiction to nominate one representative and to provide a completed application package for that person by Friday, March 14, 2008. The application form is attached. If you have any questions about the training program or the application process, please contact Christy Loper at <>. *

MIC Measures Meeting

For a long time a few members of the MIC Steering Committee and I continued to ask ourselves “How is MIC doing?” There seemed to be a disconnect between the institutional goals that the MIC Members were creating and the overall goals of MIC and the MIC Measures.

In January 2008, Mary Rose Nakayama, Conservation Environment Protection Program Manager, Alissa Takesy, FSM Protected Areas Network Coordinator, Angelo Villagomez, Executive Director, Marianas Island Nature Alliance and I made our first attempt at creating a reporting format for the MIC Members that would link the Country/State Reports to the MIC Measures. (To keep this update short) although it was a great first attempt, the reporting format would have been shunned by members due to the amount of time it would take to complete.

Realizing that we needed a bit more help we asked a long time MIC Friend and creator, Audrey Newman, TNC Senior Advisor to the Asia Pacific Region, to come and give us a hand. Audrey being true to form, did not hesitate to come out to Pohnpei for a week to assist us with our measures. This is what we came up with:

1. Network effectiveness
2. Diversity
3. Leader Satisfaction
4. Cost-effectiveness
5. Organizational effectiveness
6. Effectively managed conservation sites
-effective conservation practices (via scorecard, CAP or equivalent)
-threat reduction
-biodiversity health
The top four (1-4) measures are to be monitored by the MIC Coordinator and the last 2 measures (5-6) by the MIC Members themselves. It is the intention of the MIC Steering Committee to have measures that would not add more work for the members, but rather complimented their work.

If you would like more detailed information on the measures, please email Mae Bruton Adams at

TNC Human Resources Helps MCT

Jan Eber, TNC Hawaii Program and Sharon Lewis, TNC Washington, came to Pohnpei to assit MCT with an organizational chart and with Human Resource Management Training. The training lasted two and a half days and were broken up into 12 modules.
Module One: Review of MCT structure -- in this module the participants reviewd the current structure of MCT and evalutaed the current structure and explored alternative models.
Module Two: Workforce Planning -- This module proved an overiew of the workforce planning model at TNC. Components of the workforce planning were explored and participants discussed and identified components for further development. Topics included:
-sourcing and staffing
- performance management
- professional development
- management and leadership
- succession planning
Module Three: Position reviews and job description -- Participants reviewd current positions within MCT and their alignment with the overall structure and mission of the organization. participants explored the components of job discriptions and created a template for MCT. A job analysis was conducted for each position and a job description created and evaluated.
Module Four: Compensation -- Current compensation structure and decsion making was reviwed and alternate methedologies were discussed. Definitions included: broad-banding, market based, grades and ranges, and benefits. Overview of TNC approach and discussion of internal equity and individual equity.
Module Five: Sourcing and staffing -- Reviewed current staffing strategies and onboarding. Explored best practices for recruiting and hiring staff.
Module Six: Performance Management -- Reveiwed how MCT currently handles performance management . Discussed the performance management lifesycle. Looked at evaluations and how these might be improved. Discussed methedologies and how perfromance links to pay. Acitivities included setting objectives, metrics, completing fair and accurate evaluations.
Module Seven: Employee development -- Define professional development, write professional development objectives and discuss ow this impacts retention and employee satisfaction.
Module Eight: Managning effectively -- General discussion and approaches for increasing employee satisfaction and engagement. How to handle difficult employee situations and create guidelines for termination.
Module Nine: Succession planning -- This module covered how succession planning worked, and might work within MCT. They identified critical skills the Trust should be looking for and develope for the years ahead. They reviewed different models and discussed how a succession plan can be developed and implemented at MCT.
Module Ten: Legal/Compliance issues -- Identified the local FSM laws that impact the Trust and plan how compliance and legal requirments are best reviewed and audited.
Module Eleven: Employee manual -- create an employee manual
Module Twelve: Operations -- Review general operations within MCT. Created a process flow chart as template to be used for other process evaluations.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Kosrae is a small, mostly undeveloped island in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). The 42 square mile island supports a diverse number of intact and pristine ecosystems both under and above the sea. One such ecosystem is the Yela forest and its watershed. Yela is a freshwater swamp forest just above the mangrove line that supports the last Ka (Terminalia carolinensis) forest in the world. Such forests were once found on several islands in Micronesia but due to harvest and development extensive stands of Ka have disappeared.

The Yela forest is owned by 10 families committed to conservation who have organized themselves as a non-profit organization named Yela Environmental Landowners Authority (YELA). YELA’s Executive Director, Dr. Tholman Alik, approached The Nature Conservancy and others and asked for assistance in developing a plan for protection of this unique forest and the watershed that supports it.

One option for protection is to establish a conservation easement over Yela which prevents development and other activities inconsistent with the conservation values in perpetuity. Conservation easements are a legal tool in the United States that maintain property in the landowner’s possession while protecting defined ecological values. Essentially the landowner relinquishes the right to develop the property into homes, buildings, and roads forever. Only a non-profit or government entity can purchase and hold the conservation easement. If the landowner sells the property, the conservation easement still encumbers or follows the land.

The Nature Conservancy’s easement specialist, Mike Conner, visited Kosrae in October to educate YELA about easements and to build local support for the concept. Conservation easements are not established in the FSM legal system, therefore, another element of the trip was to gauge the interest and ability of the state to establish this legal tool for all of FSM. Support for the concept was overwhelmingly positive and a partnership to protect YELA and establish conservation easements was conceived. The newly established partnership consists of:

· Kosrae Governor Weilbacher
· Attorney General JD Lee
· Kosrae Island Resource Management Authority, Director, Simpson Abraham
· Kosrae Conservation & Safety Organization, Executive Director, Andy George
· USDA Forest Service, Katie Friday
· Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Integrated Forestry Expert, Eva Gonnermann
· YELA Executive Director, Tholman Alik
· TNC’s Bill Raynor, Sean Austin, Jeff Benz, Mae Adams, Ricky Carl, Fred Annand and Mike Conner

Together the partnership has created a road map of actions that we hope will result in both the establishment of 1) a conservation easement protecting Yela in perpetuity and 2) a new legal tool for conservation in the FSM. It is an ambitious goal but one that we feel can be attained based on the strength and commitment of the individuals that comprise the partnership. Stay tuned….!