Thursday, September 11, 2008

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
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