News Archives

    Used Oil Facility Constructed in Pohnpei State


    FSM Information Services

    Press Release

    Used Oil Facility Constructed in Pohnpei State

    PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On March 29th, 2019 the new Used Oil Recovery Facility was completed in the State of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Funded through the Global Environment Facility—Pacific Alliance for Sustainability for Persistent Organic Pollutants (GEFPAS-UPOPs) project implemented by the Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP) with support from the FSM Department of Environment, Climate Change, & Emergency Management (DECEM), and constructed by Pohnpei Waste Management Services (PWMS), the Used Oil Recovery Facility is intended to address potential environmental threats regarding Used Oil first identified in a 2014 survey.

    Used Oil is, as it sounds, any petroleum or synthetic oil that has been used. In the aforementioned 2014 survey, the FSM was ranked the highest amongst 14 Pacific Island countries with regards to the threat that Used Oil—if improperly stored and disposed of—can have on the environment and by extension the general public.

    A 2018 Used Oil Assessment by SPREP, which followed up on the 2014 survey, identified over 2,000 stockpiled drums of Used Oil in Pohnpei State with an estimated capacity of 132,500 gallons.

    The new Used Oil Recovery Facility has a bund wall to guard against oil seepage, and houses four tanks with a total capacity of 2,600 gallons, and attachment pumps. Additionally, the tanks are covered with a filter screen to block unnecessary solids, and have had a motor installed to propel oil from the airways of the pumps.

    The FSM National Government and Pohnpei State Government are hoping to export the Used Oil to a facility that can recycle or treat it.

    Pohnpei State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director Henry Susaia has acknowledged the support from SPREP, DECEM, and donor partners and reaffirmed Pohnpei State Government's commitment to continue to address Used Oil management issues through collaborative efforts with all stakeholders.

    2019 Pacific Partnership Concludes in Chuuk State


    FSM Information Services

    Press Release

    2019 Pacific Partnership Concludes in Chuuk State

    WENO, Chuuk—On April 25th, 2019 the 2019 Pacific Partnership—an annual U.S. Navy-lead humanitarian operation focused on furthering regional resiliency, disaster preparation & risk reduction, interoperability, and security—formally concluded in a closing ceremony held on the United States Navy Ship (USNS) Brunswick’s mission bay. Held April 8th to April 25th, 2019 in Chuuk State, the Pacific Partnership’s mission was primarily to strengthen the special friendship between the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the United States of America (USA) and foster greater resiliency against disasters through hands-on skills transfer, trainings, engineering projects, and visits to communities across Chuuk Lagoon. The 2019 Pacific Partnership marks the sixth such time this annual event has been held in a state within the FSM and the second time it’s been held in the State of Chuuk.

    The 2019 Pacific Partnership included 16 host nation outreach events, inclusive of sports activities, live music, and more; it included 13 medical symposiums and trainings, 110 medical subject matter expert exchanges, 28 side-by-side medical exchanges, and two health fairs. In addition, the medical team put together a rehabilitation facility in Chuuk State Hospital.

    Additional outcomes of the 2019 Pacific Partnership included 15 hours of search and rescue training, 32 hours of basic first responder training, and six infrastructure projects at Iras Demonstration School which included bathroom renovations, construction of a trench that redirects water away from the school, awnings, plumbing installation and water tank construction and refurbishment, replacement of plywood with concrete sheets, and storage room renovation.

    Prior to the USNS Brunswick’s service in the Pacific Partnership, the ship and its crew played a vital role in its partnership with the FSM National Government in providing immediate relief to citizens in the Northwest and Mortlock Islands who suffered during the recent devastation of Typhoon Wutip.

    In attendance at the closing ceremony were His Excellency Peter M. Christian, President of the FSM, the Honorable Lorin S. Robert, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Joses Gallen, Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Honorable Graceful Enlet, Director of Chuuk Department of Education representing the Honorable Johnson Elimo, Governor of Chuuk State, His Excellency Robert Riley, Ambassador of the United States of America,  Rear Admiral Shoshana Chatfield, Commander of Joint Region Marianas, and Pacific Partnership’s Mission Director, Captain Paddy Allen. Also in attendance amongst the other distinguished guests were U.S. Army Specialist Rally Gilmete, from Pohnpei State, U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class KN Nethon, from Chuuk State, and U.S. Army Sergeant Joseia Lemari from the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

    President Christian, who brought Specialist Gilmete, Petty Officer 2nd Class Nethon, and Sergeant Lemari up to the podium with him, said “This partnership could not have come at a better time…I am advised that the USNS Brunswick visited the Northwest Islands, and I would like to thank you for doing that…. Allow me to also reaffirm the continued unique and special partnership as enshrined in our Compact of Free Association. I think the three gentlemen standing with me is testimony enough of what we are proud of in our partnership with the United States. Let us build a platform—a good platform of goodness together. Let us promote friendship, let us promote partnership, and let us promote cooperation as our strength.”

    Ambassador Riley said “It was a personal honor to witness the collaboration throughout the Pacific Partnership efforts…people from many different nationalities, creeds, and cultures can work together in unity and principle and action, the results both tangible and intangible have been astounding.” Beyond the U.S. Military personnel, the 2019 Pacific Partnership in Chuuk State also included personnel from Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Peru, the Republic of the Philippines, the Kingdom of Thailand, and the United Kingdom.

    Director of Education Enlet, speaking on behalf of Governor Elimo, said “…Today we have witnessed this partnership…as a real-time historical event for the State of Chuuk. Pacific Partnership 2019 has responded to the aftermath of Typhoon Wutip and I must recognize and congratulate all of those who were involved…. What a blessing for Pacific Partnership 2019 to reach those underserved and most vulnerable people in the remote islands of Chuuk State. It is with this act of kindness that I say…Your Excellency, Ambassador Riley, please extend our profound gratitude to the United States Government.” Director Enlet, through Governor Elimo’s speech, also emphasized appreciation to President Christian and the relevant FSM National Government agencies for their “endless support to the State of Chuuk and its people.”

    Rear Admiral Chatfield said of Pacific Partnership that “It wasn’t just an exercise—it was really a response, and it was so delightful to see how [everyone worked together].”

    Director of Mission, Captain Allen, said “Pacific Partnership is a mission about cooperation, about building each others’ experience and expertise that provides [for] disaster risk reduction. Disaster emergencies…require comprehensive coordination and preparation. We cannot be too prepared for when a disaster will hit. We are stronger and more efficient when we work side by side, when we work together, and over the last two weeks, over the last month…I believe that what we have achieved working side by side together [has] built that friendship and partnership, and achieved solidarity.”

    After the ceremony proper, the participants were entertained with traditional stick dancing from Chuukese hailing from Kuttu in the Mortlock Islands.

    The FSM is dedicated towards producing positive and peaceful relationships with all countries and peoples throughout the world. The Nation’s relationship with the USA is both special and unique, and it is the hope of the FSM National Government that the FSM and USA will always have such a special partnership.

    T-3 Challenge Electronic Monitoring Symposium Stimulates Cooperation for Fisheries Transparency



    FSM Information Services

    Press Release

    T-3 Challenge Electronic Monitoring Symposium Stimulates Cooperation for Fisheries Transparency

    PALIKIR, Pohnpei—In response to His Excellency Peter M. Christian, President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), calling for complete transparency in FSM’s commercial tuna fisheries by 2023, from April 10th to 12th 2019 the Technology for Tuna Transparency (T-3) Challenge Electronic Monitoring Symposium was held at PMA Studio in Pohnpei State. Sponsored by the FSM National Government through the National Oceanic Management Resource Authority (NORMA), and by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), and the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA),the symposium explored how electronic monitoring (EM) fits into control and surveillance to support sustainable fisheries, how EM is presently being used in the Western and Central Pacific, EM in the seafood supply chain, how to scale EM for increased use in the FSM and the Pacific, and moving forward with a regional vision for tuna transparency through EM.

    The Honorable Marcelo Peterson, Governor of Pohnpei State, provided the welcoming remarks. “If over 50% of the global tuna supply comes from our part of the world, then we must do everything it takes to ensure its sustainable management through the use of new technologies such as EM. EM will help assure us the long-term sustainability of these resources.”

    NORMA’s Executive Director, Eugene Pangelinan, provided the introductory remarks. Noting that in attendance were Ambassadors and Ministers of sovereign nations, such as His Excellency George Fraser of Australia and His Excellency Alexis Maino of Papua New Guinea (PNG), and the Honorable Dennis Momotaro, Minister of Resources & Development for the Republic of the Marshall Islands, representatives of key local and regional partners such as the Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and regional stakeholders such as the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Fiji Fisheries, the Australia Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), and global partners such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Global Fishing Watch, and many more, he said “How often do we get all interested parties in the same room on the same platform with equal opportunity to speak freely?...Let us start the conversation of regionally aligning all the moving parts…to talk about EM…. My wish is that at the close of this symposium we’ll all be more informed and inspired to…implement EM programs.”

    The Honorable Marion Henry, Secretary of the Department of Resources & Development, spoke on behalf of President Christian to provide the keynote address. “You have traveled from afar to be here today, which is a solid testimony of your commitment to address this growing problem within our midst…. I urge full and frank discussions and sharing of information on the use of EM to assist in our continuing fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and transnational crimes being committed in our backyards…. I believe that our countries, as resource custodians, must follow the trend by also utilizing EM for our own purposes and our own advantages…. Past our recognized borders, we collectively carry the responsibility for effective stewardship of this important resource for the sake of posterity and humankind.”

    His Excellency Alexis Maino, Roving Ambassador of PNG to the FSM, provided additional remarks. “The challenges of monitoring and controlling our vast maritime territories are many. …Today, we embrace the move towards a far more advanced stage of electronic monitoring systems which we hope will result in promoting elements of transparency for sustainable fisheries management. PNG welcomes the opportunity to work collaboratively with other Pacific Island countries, including members of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement at all levels to develop and implement electronic monitoring capabilities across the entire region.”

    Participants attending the EM symposium enjoyed a variety of frank and open conversations, with sessions primarily comprised of panel discussions. Moderators of these sessions included Mark Zimring of TNC, Mike Gerner of AFMA, Alfred Cook of the WWF, and Glen Joseph of MIMRA, with topics ranging from how EM fits into science monitoring to how EM can positively impact the seafood supply chain.

    EM, at its core, is about putting video cameras on fishing vessels—and, in conjunction with machine learning and artificial intelligence, with assistance from on-the-boat work from observers and data analysis, greatly improves transparency, data quality, and decision-making with regards to a given fishery’s operation. To emphasize the need for EM, it was advised during the symposium that 90% of global fisheries don’t have the basic data they need to become sustainable—either environmentally, or economically; EM helps to provide the data necessary to make these fisheries sustainable. EM has shown in Australia, for example, a 25% increase in retained catch relative to dependent and independent reporting.

    The FSM National Government extends its appreciation to all attending parties for their commitment to the T-3 Challenge called for by President Christian, which seeks to ensure 100% transparency in the FSM’s fisheries through state-of-the-art EM and human observer coverage. To learn more about the T-3 Challenge, one can visit the NORMA website (http://www.norma.fm/) or read the T-3 Challenge brochure here: https://pio.gov.fm/files/Public%20Notices/T-3_Challenge_Pamphlet_1_15_19.pdf

    Interested in becoming a partner on the T-3 Challenge? Please contact:

     

    Peter M. Christian

    President of the Federated States of Micronesia

    Office of the President, Federated States of Micronesia

    National Government, Palikir, Pohnpei FM 96941

     

    Eugene Pangelinan

    Executive Director

    Federated States of Micronesia National Oceanic Resource Management Authority

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     

    Mark Zimring

    Director

    The Nature Conservancy Indo-Pacific Tuna Program

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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