Conservation Society of Pohnpei
Sea cucumbers are a quiet sea invertebrate that have never made a lot of news in the past in Pohnpei, but that doesn’t mean that we have been ignoring them. Since 2012, Dr. Peter Houk who heads up the University of Guam’s Marine Laboratory has been working with the Conservation Society of Pohnpei and the Pohnpei State Office of Fisheries and Aquaculture on a long term coral reef monitoring program. This program conducted surveys at 21 sites on the shallow reef slopes around Pohnpei where many species of sea cucumber live. The main goal of the program was to understand how the near shore fisheries and corals respond to human stressors and management programs, such as Marine Protected Areas, and help to balance the social, economic, and ecosystem needs of fisheries. So, it made sense that with the recent announcement of a sea cucumber harvest that we would ask Dr. Houk to return to Pohnpei and do a rapid assessment of the current population levels of sea cucumbers and compare them to the levels in 2012 to see if we have a sufficient supply of sea cucumbers to harvest.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
June 9, 2016
Palikir, Pohnpei—Police are currently conducting a murder investigation into the death of Relent Hadley who was 31 years old. Hadley went by the nickname, “Katar”.
Early on Monday morning, June 6, Pohnpei State Police received a call that Hadley’s body had been found under one of the bridges in Palikir not far from the FSM Capitol complex.
One woman who lives nearby reported having seen him the night before he was found in what she thought was a highly intoxicated state. At that time he was headed toward the bridge which is an open bridge with no guard rails. The next morning he was dead beneath the bridge.
While many of the people in the surrounding homes thought that his death had been by accidental drowning after falling into the river and being knocked out, police thought otherwise.
Captain Edmund, currently the Acting Chief of Police said that the family would not allow an autopsy, but the injuries reported by the Pohnpei State Hospital led police to believe that Hadley had potentially been murdered. He said that X-Ray results and the small amount of water in his lungs did not add up to accidental death.
Two detectives have been assigned the task of finding the alleged murderer. They have interviewed people who live nearby but so far they have no leads.
Captain Edmund has asked for assistance from the community. “If anyone has any information about the death of Relent Hadley, we urge them to contact detectives at the Pohnpei State Police Department.”
For now, an alleged and currently unidentified killer is at large.

festival 02

By Stephanie Jano Edward
FSM’s Media Representative
June 8, 2016
Guam--After two extraordinary weeks of non-stop cultural festivities in blistering heat, the Pohnpei delegation is finally back on home ground.
The last week of the Festival of Pacific Arts (FestPac) went by in a blur, as performers and artists delivered their final performances and pieces. The festival huts bustled with activity as members of other delegations and FestPac attendees roamed and shopped their traditional wares. The live musical bands from each delegation also gave stellar last performances for FestPac attendees, closing the Village hours after the designated closing hours. Everyone felt the subtle change in tone of the FestPac, a bittersweet aura, as it had become our home away from home for the past couple of weeks.
In the last week of the FestPac, the Pohnpei delegation continued to proudly display Pohnpei’s culture with demonstrations of the traditional sakau ceremony, presided over by Wasalapalap, Soukisehleng, Nahnmwarki en Kitti and Nahnalek Kitti. After the demonstrations, Senator Miguel, serving as Master of Ceremony for the demonstration invited audience members to try the sakau. The audience poured in, men and women, adults and children alike, to try the numbing concoction. After the tasting, many came by the Pohnpei hut asking to buy bottles of sakau to enjoy on their own time. Unfortunately, we were unable to sell bottles of sakau due to time restraints and lack of manpower to prepare the sakau in time to sell each evening.

Micronesia Conservation Trust
The FSM and other small nations won big at the Paris UNFCCC COP21 when the larger, more developed countries agreed to the Paris Agreement which is pretty favorable to island nations such as ours. Our negotiators have been travelling around the world for years lobbying for more developed nations to assist us in fighting climate change, and it finally paid off. In the Paris Agreement, developed countries agreed to pursue efforts to limit temperature increases to 1.5 degrees, they agreed to a separate and standalone article on Loss and Damage (from climate change), and to simplified and scaled-up access to finance for Small Island Developing States (like FSM) that are specifically vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change and have significant capacity constraints. That’s great news to our community based conservation and climate adaptation efforts here in the FSM and we anticipate the switch from burning fossil fuels to using more renewable energy sources in all four FSM states. This looks good for FSM meeting our goals under the Paris Agreement, but if you take a closer look at what is really damaging our island environment, we need to look at what we are doing here, at home, in our communities and in our coastal fishery.

yolanda

(Editor’s note: Yolanda Joab graduated from Pohnpei’s Seventh Day Adventist School eight years ago. She currently works with the International Organization for Migrations Cadre program in Chuuk, teaching children about climate change and disaster risk reduction. She is also studying at Harvard University. Below is the manuscript for the inspirational speech she gave to graduating seniors of Pohnpei SDA. She varied from her manuscript during delivering but the speech was powerful enough to warrant printing in its entirety.)
Good evening, allow me to pay my respects to everyone here tonight. To all dignitaries and representatives present, Principal Edward, the proud mothers, fathers and family, teachers and friends gathered here tonight. And most importantly to these good-looking graduates up here, thank you for having me. I am very honored and feel very privileged to be here and share in this milestone with you all. A wise man once said “There are 2 kinds of people in this world. Those of us that graduated from Pohnpei SDA and those who wish they did.”

trail 01

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
June 9, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—The once pristine and well kept path to Liduduhniap Falls is now overgrown and oftentimes dangerous making it nearly inaccessible to all but the heartiest of souls. But today, a historic agreement among the Pohnpei State Government’s Office of Aid Coordination, Tourism and Economic Affairs and the nine owners of the trails and property surrounding Liduduhniap Falls was signed in the office of Governor Marcello Peterson.
The $75,000 agreement from the FSM Tourism Fund appropriated by the FSM Congress will mean the investment of sufficient funds from the National Tourism budget to restore safe access to the important attraction. It will also provide covered observation and picnic facilities for the enjoyment of both international and local visitors.

refugees

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
June 9, 2016
Yap, FSM—Seven of 16 Nepalese refugees who have been stranded in Yap since their boats landed in Yap over a year and a half ago will be returning home to Nepal after their long ordeal.
In November of 2015, 16 people from Nepal and 18 people from India were detained in Yap after they were found in Yap’s waters with no travel documents and in near starving condition. Their destination was not Yap. It is not clear whether their destination was Australia or the United States. They intended to seek asylum.
While they have been in Yap, community members contributed to feeding the refugees but they have been essentially in custody at the port in Colonia almost since they arrived.
Clayton Lawrence, an Assistant Attorney General from the FSM Department of Justice said that the refugees will leave from Yap on June 25. He said the government of Australia and the International Organization for Migration contributed to the repatriation.
Lawrence said that in March, he and a representative from the FSM Department of Foreign Affairs went to the Philippines to meet with the Ambassador of India and also the Second Secretary of Nepal’s Embassy in the Philippines.
The process of generating travel documents takes a while but the FSM is now in possession of documents for all 16 of the Nepalese refugees but the refugee status of six of them is currently being reviewed by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). The status of two of the Indian refugees is also being reviewed by the UNHCR.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
June 9, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—Former Director of Public Safety Lucas Carlos was arrested yesterday after an investigation led by the Pohnpei Governor’s Office, the State Auditor’s office and the Department of Public Safety led police to believe that Carlos had allegedly committed fraud and embezzlement.
The Pohnpei State Attorney General’s office was not notified until after the arrest had happened.
Captain Edmund, Pohnpei’s Acting Chief of Police said that Carlos was arrested and was later released.
According to an official at the Attorney General’s office, it is not unusual for police to make an arrest and then present the results of their investigations to the Attorney General’s office for possible formal charges. Charges have not yet been formally filed.

observer 01

NORMA Press Release
Friday 20th May, Pohnpei, FSM--A Kiribati national working on a purse seiner in the Federated States of Micronesia could face a hefty fine and up to 12 months in jail if he's found guilty on charges of assaulting the Fisheries Observer on his vessel.
Terangutu Uerem has been stood down from the crew of the Kiribati-flagged Marawa 1, after being charged in the FSM Supreme Court with an act of criminal assault against a Solomon Islands national working for the Pacific Islands Regional Observer Program, PIRFO, on May 12.
Uerem has not yet entered a plea.

enimwahn

On Tuesday, May 24th, 2016, the President of the Enimwahn Development Association (EDA), Mr. Stuard Penias, signed an MOA with the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) being implemented by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for a planning grant given under the Small Grants Programme for the project entitled “Improving the sustainability and diversity of home farming activities in Enimwahn”. On behalf of the United Nations Joint Presence Office, Head of Office Ms. Evelyn Adolph welcomed the members of EDA to the office. On behalf of the National Steering Committee (NSC) which administers the SGP, Chairman Snyther Biza congratulated the EDA on receiving the $4,100 planning grant, which will be used to hold community education and planning meetings that will lead the EDA to apply for a full SGP grant of up to $45,000 to implement their project. Chairman Biza explained that the SGP focuses on providing funds to community based NGOs to do projects within their communities that are focused on environmental issues. The NSC was interested in EDA’s project goals because they would like to see individual communities have successful projects that can be replicated in other communities.

solar farm
By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
May 14, 2015
Pohnlangas, Pohnpei, FSM—A solar power plant in Pohnlangas, Madolenihmw, funded by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through its Pacific Partnership Program was officially handed over to Pohnpei Utilities Corporation (PUC) today. The 600 kilowatt solar farm in Pohnlangas takes PUC one step closer to its goal of 100 percent renewable energy for power generation with diesel generators serving only as back up.
PUC Board Chairman Trevayne Esiel said during his speech that the solar power plant will mean a reduction of CO2 emissions of approximately two million pounds.
PUC has vision to be a “zero CO2 emission cooperative utility”, Esiel said.
“PUC already has in place a 170 KW and 200 KW solar grid connected at the College of Micronesia and Nett Elementary School respectively. We have a 170KW hydro plant (funded by the European Union) and now with our newly built 600KW Solar Farm Project that fits into PUC’s future plans”, Esiel said during his speech at the handover event. The addition of the Pohnlangas plant means that PUC has 1.14 MW of renewable energy power feeding into its grid when the renewable energy sources are able to generate power.
The United Arab Emirates provided $2.2 million dollars for the building of the new plant. Pohnlangas generously provided 100 acres of land to provide the space for the newly dedicated project and for future renewable energy projects that may include wind powered turbines at no cost to PUC for 50 years under an MOU with Pohnpei State.

Congress Information
PALIKIR, POHNPEI. May 18, 2016 – The Fourth Regular Session of the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia convened on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 to begin its deliberations on the 2017 budget for the FSM National Government.
A quorum of eight Members convened the Fourth Regular Session on Wednesday morning witnessed by President Peter M. Christian, Vice President Yosiwo P. George and members of the President’s Cabinet along with various heads of the national government offices and agencies. With the May session being the beginning of budget deliberations, FSM’s own Ambassadors from the overseas missions were also witness to the mornings session and were individually recognized and welcomed by the acting Floor Leader Senator David W. Panuelo,
1. Ambassador Jane J. Chigiyal from the Mission at the UN;
2. Ambassador John Fritz from the Embassy in Japan;
3. Ambassador Carlson Apis from the Embassy in China;
4. Deputy Chief of Mission Wilson Waguk from the Embassy in Fiji, and
5. Consul General Kandhi Elieisar of the Hawaii Consulate Office.
The acting Floor Leader also recognized the presence of the diplomatic missions to the FSM:
1. Ambassador Dorian Rosen of the Embassy of the United States of America;
2. Ambassador Masaki Sakai of the Embassy of Japan; and
3. Ambassador Li Jie of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.
Along with the diplomatic communities, officials from the state and municipal governments also joined the mornings’ session, notably: Chief Justice Aliksa B. Alikso of the state of Kosrae;
Mayor Jose San Nicholas of the Kolonia Town Government and the Kolonia Town Speaker Jack Harris.

fisheries23 May 2016
Pohnpei, FSM - A new comprehensive national Fisheries Policy for the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is firmly set on accessing up to US85m in annual revenues from its ‘blue gold’ oceanic fisheries sector. That figure was flagged amidst all the numbers, data and acronyms dominating a just-ended national Fisheries seminar in FSM. Standout quotes during the seminar included a straight and clear reminder on the reason for the current renewed focus on FSM's budget-boosting Tuna resources-- "Fish is our blue gold".
As leaders from Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap think through and share their four days of talking Fisheries with the lead government officials in the sector, the new term, coined on the opening day of the seminar, will keep coming to mind as they look to opportunities at state level and their fit at national level, for investment opportunities in FSM’s fisheries.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
May 20, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—An ambitious plan to setup a fish loining plant in Pohnpei during the FSM National Fisheries summit. If the plan gets off the ground it could employ as many as a thousand people after the plant reaches full capacity.
A spokesperson for Frabelle Fishing Corporation unveiled the plan for a company they would call FSM Seafood Incorporated. It would be a cooperative venture among, Frabelle, which was established in 1964 in the Philippines; Caroline Fisheries Corporation (CFC), a local Pohnpei purse seiner company established in 1990, partnered with the Pohnpei State Government; and Silla Company, Limited, a Korean fishing company established in 1967 that operates in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean and in the Atlantic Ocean.

peace run

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
May 27, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—Last week four representatives of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run visited Pohnpei.
Their website says that “The Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run is a global relay that seeks to promote international friendship and understanding. Since its inception in 1987 the Run has traversed over 100 nations and touched the lives of millions of people. The Peace Run does not seek to raise money or highlight any political cause, but simply strives to create goodwill among peoples of all nations.
“By passing the torch from one person to the next, the relay offers people from many nations the opportunity to express their hopes and dreams for a better, brighter future. People from all walks of life hold the symbolic torch to wish for a peaceful world. Passing the torch from one person to the next unites us together in our common aspiration to offer something positive to our world – together we can make a difference!”
While in Pohnpei, the team visited several elementary schools and community groups.

sakai 02

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
May 26, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—Japan’s extraordinarily popular Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia Masaki Sakai and his equally popular wife, Nobuko left Pohnpei today for Tokyo where Ambassador Sakai will return to work in the fisheries ministry.
In honor of the couple the Pohnpei Port Authority created a large banner wishing them well on their departure and the ARFF Strikers (fire trucks) gave tribute with jets of water arching over the taxiing plane carrying them.
During his two years in the FSM, Ambassador Sakai constantly extolled the kizuna, the Japanese word for “bonds of friendship” between Japan and the FSM.
As plenipotentiary representative of Japan’s government, Ambassador Sakai and his excellent staff members coordinated dozens of Japanese aid projects throughout the FSM from donations of heavy equipment, recycling equipment, waste management projects, right through to the new multi-purpose gymnasium that sees nearly constant use in Sekere, Pohnpei.
sakai 01Deputy Chief of Mission Shingo Higashimoto said that it was stirring to see the number of people who came to see the Sakais off at the airport.
On Thursday May 19, Ambassador and Mrs. Sakai held a farewell reception at their official residence in Nanpohnmal. He invited a small group of friends and dignitaries. Secretary for Foreign Affairs Lorin Robert wished them well and thanked the Ambassador for the obvious bonds of friendship as displayed, not only in the many aid projects but in all of the relationships the Sakais had with the people of the FSM.
Ambassador Sakai is an avid sportsman and last week the badminton club in Sekere, Sokehs also held a farewell party in his honor.
Ambassador Sakai’s successor Mr. Horie will arrive on June 10 to fill some mighty big shoes.

kolonia town charter

Kolonia Town celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Kolonia Town Charter beginning with a march from the Spanish Wall ball field to the Town Hall. Numerous dignitaries celebrated the event.

pacific arts 01

By Stephanie Jano Edward
Pohnpei and FSM Media representative
May 25, 2016
Guam—The 12th Festival of Pacific Arts (FestPac) officially opened on May 22, 2016 at the Paseo Stadium in Agana, Guam. Each delegation from the 27 participating countries entered the stadium one by one to perform a short traditional number and present gifts to Governor Calvo and the people of Guam in front of a packed stadium.
The FSM delegation entered by state, from east to west, with Kosrae leading the delegation, followed by Pohnpei, then Chuuk, and ending with Yap. Representatives from Pollap, Siis, and Ettal, outer islands of Chuuk were also part of the delegation. After FSM’s entrance, Chuuk and Yap gave short performances on behalf of the delegation. Senator Mihkel, 9th Pohnpei State Legislature, presented the traditional gifts to FSM President, His Excellency Peter M. Christian who then presented the gifts to Governor Calvo and Lt. Governor Tenorio. Floor Leader McGarry Mihkel, 9th Pohnpei Legislature, said that the FSM delegation showed great unity and displayed the essence of “one voice, one heart of one nation” to the other Pacific islands.