SEP 17 - 2016 - The Pohnpei State EPA has just published this video edited and narrated by Nigel Jaynes.

NORMA

The FSM National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) has recently appointed Ms. Jasmine Mendiola as its Fisheries Awareness Ambassador. In this new role, Ms. Mendiola will be visiting schools and communities throughout the federation to conduct a Fisheries Awareness Program on the tuna fishery, including management, development, sustainability and social responsibility. Every year on May 2nd, World Tuna Day, various organizations and groups that have a stake in tuna fisheries celebrate the significant role tuna plays on a global scale; to commemorate this day, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) Office holds a World Tuna Day Art and Talent Quest to raise awareness about vital tuna stocks. This year, Ms. Mendiola won the top prize for her poem entitled “Teach Your Children” which portrays the need to teach our children about the importance of tuna conservation. “This awareness campaign is something NORMA has always wanted to do, but with our already limited human resources and growing responsibilities in fisheries it has been difficult to jump start,” notes NORMA Executive Director Eugene Pangelinan. “Jasmine’s artistic creativity was a glaring reminder of the significance of having all our young people understand the substance behind the message shared in her poem.”
Ms. Mendiola is no stranger to awareness campaigns, one of the primary reasons she was hand-picked for this task. Her current role as Assistant Director of the Marine and Environmental Research Institute of the Pacific (MERIP) includes a school awareness program to local high schools as well as conducting community workshops on fisheries management. Her background includes work as a Public Diplomacy and Research Officer at the Australian Embassy, a Data Technician at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and Climate Change Project Intern at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. She is a graduate of COM-FSM’s Marine Science Program and one of only a handful of FSM females in the marine science field.

playground

SEP 2016

As reported in K-Press, in July, Nan Madol was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and placed on the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger. This is wonderful news, and has taken years of hard work on behalf of FSM’s Office of National Archives, Culture, and Historic Preservation, Pohnpei’s Historic Preservation Office (HPO), and many other scholars and community members who are committed to protecting our cultural and historic sites. This prestigious listing will require years of hard work to ensure that our sacred site is properly maintained and protected for future generations to come.

By Marstella Jack
Delegates to the Pacific Islands Forum and Post-Forum Dialogue flying into
Pohnpei might notice the great hulking wreck that was once the PING DA 7, aground for nearly two years now atop Pohnpei's circular fringing reef. This ship is an environmental time-bomb and the subject of an ongoing emergency in the FSM. The people of Micronesia want it removed, but whose responsibility is it?
However sympathetic, what development partner is willing to shoulder such a problem and incur such a liability, real or implied? It's a conundrum, but one that might finally have a solution. That possible solution is PEPP.

fishingBy Bill Jaynes
August 20, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—Lightning flashed and thunder rolled during the early morning hours of the Matson Fishing Tournament but for some competitors it was apparently perfect fishing weather.
No records were broken but some huge fish were landed, including Westcott Panuelo’s 366.2 pound marlin. The fish was so big that it bent the “S hook” on the scale and dumped the marlin, beak first into the Mangrove Bay dock and then into the water. A new scale had to be brought in along with tall ladders in order to read the scale, and now there’s a nice new hole in the Mangrove floating dock.
Westscott won the largest fish competition hands down. He walked away with the $700 prize along with the monster marlin he had caught.
Alex Tretnoff also brought in a beautiful marlin that was 143 pounds and took home both the marlin and $400 dollars in cash for the second prize.
Jeff Aingemea reeled in a HUGE yellow fin tuna. The 120.4 pound fish won him third place for biggest fish and a $300 cash prize. He was fishing aboard the Mr. Tip Sea, the same boat on which Panuelo landed his huge marlin.
Marcela Hawley was fishing aboard “Salt Life” and grabbed a 92.4 pound Yellow Fin tuna for the $200 fourth prize on the biggest fish category.
Several fishers boated big yellow fin tuna. During any other tournament, those big fish might have netted them a prize but not during this tournament.
Matson also awarded a $100 prize for the biggest of each species of fish caught during the tournament.
Marcela Hawley won for her 14.8 pound Skip Jack tuna. Kimo Phillip won for his 31.5 pound Wahoo. Welber David won the prize for his 12.1 pound Barracuda, and Alex Tretnoff won that prize for his 15 pound Mahi Mahi.
Dane Nighswander, ever the gallant Junior Angler, won a $50 prize in that category for his 12.3 pound Wahoo.
The tournament was sponsored by Matson and Amcres.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
September 1, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—Vital, the FSM Petroleum Corporation is expected to announce an FSM wide reduction in the price it charges gas stations for unleaded gasoline tomorrow.
A Vital spokesperson said that the price they will charge to gas station vendors will decrease by 15 cents.
“We are once again strongly urging all of our retail clients (gas stations) to pass along 100% of the reduction to consumers immediately,” the spokesperson said.
To facilitate that “immediate” reduction, Vital has said that the price reduction will be applied to orders that have been placed before the price reduction they intend to announce tomorrow but that have not yet been delivered.
Not all gas station owners decide to pass the savings on their fuel purchases on to their customers. In Pohnpei there is at least a 10 cent per gallon disparity in prices for unleaded gasoline. Here, at least one station is currently charging $3.90 per gallon while others are still charging $4 per gallon after Vital’s previous price reduction.
The Vital spokesperson said that a potential price reduction for diesel fuel will be reviewed next week.

swearing in

August 31, 2016
Kolonia, Pohnpei - The Executive Branch of the Pohnpei State Government held a swear-in ceremony for the newly appointed members of the Governor’s Cabinet as well as board members for State agencies within the Government.
Among the Cabinet initiates were State Attorney General Mr. Dana W. Smith, Pohnpei Housing Authority Executive Director Mr. Paulino T. Lambert and Pohnpei State Election Commissioner Mr.Emilio Eperiam.
The newly appointed members of the Pohnpei Board of Education that were sworn-in today included Mr. Franky Edward, Mrs. Alice Ehmes, Mr. Joab Santos and Mr. Grilly Jack. Mrs. Lynn Narruhn, Mr. Bensile Enicar, Mr. Paul James, Ms. Brenda Hadley and Mr. Oltrick Santos were sworn in as members of the Board for the Pohnpei Public Broadcasting Corporation.
Mrs. Cynthia Ehmes was sworn in as the newest member of the Pohnpei Utilities Corporation Board of Directors.
Mr. Valentine Santiago was sworn in as the last member of the Board of the Pohnpei Environmental Protection Agency.
In in congratulatory remarks, Governor Marcelo K. Peterson urged all those who were sworn into uphold their oaths of office to the highest standard. He stressed the idea that all positions in an organization or office hold extreme importance and responsibility. He also gave a special welcome to Attorney General Dana Smith stating that “monumental change is possible if we work together”.
After the Governor’s remarks, all the sworn-in members received Certificates of Appreciation from the Government for their willingness to serve the people in their appointed offices and capacities.
Mr. Eperiam and Mr. Santiago both volunteered to convey their appreciation on behalf of all the newly sworn-in members of Cabinet and Boards. Mr. Eperiam asked for support and cooperation from all those present to ensure successful and productive results

SEP 2016

With the September Regular Session of Congress approaching this month, the FSM National Government is preparing itself to make good on its intentions to ratify the Convention of the Rights for Persons with Disability (CRPD) and begin the process of implementation. FSM took an important first step towards ratifying the Convention nearly five years ago, in September 2011. Then FSM President, H.E. Emmanuel A. Mori, signed the CRPD at the 66th UN General Assembly in New York, thereby indicating FSM’s intention to ratify in the near future. Two months following signing, the 17th FSM Congress sought to approve ratification by introducing a resolution on 19 November 2011, in accordance with Section 4 of Article IX of the FSM Constitution. But instead of going through the ratification and making this a “top down” approach to implementing the convention, Congress resolved to postpone this decision until all four states had been consulted. That process was lengthy as each state handles these decisions in their own time and according to state priorities. The outcome of the consultations, which took four and a half years, led to each state adopting a resolution for FSM to ratify the CRPD.

us aidEmbassy of the
United States of America Kolonia
Weno, Chuuk – The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), launched a new project that will reduce the vulnerabilities of communities in Micronesia to impacts of climate change. Through its Pacific- American Climate Fund (PACAM), USAID awarded a total of US$244,315 grant to the Chuuk Women’s Council (CWC).
CWC will implement the project Climate Change Adaptation through Family, Gardens, Food, and Health that will strengthen the knowledge and capacity of families and school communities to grow nutritious food. The project will support the development of climate resilient community nurseries as well as home and school gardens, building on traditional gardening and food production knowledge, and developing school curricula in support of the home and school gardens.
U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Joanne Cummings, who led the launch of the project together with Honorable Wesley Simina, Speaker, FSM Congress, reaffirmed the American people’s commitment to the well-being of the people of the Pacific Islands. “President Obama has called this century the Pacific Century, and under his leadership the United States is building on its long relationship with the region,” DCM Joanne Cummings said. She added, “We look forward to working with our partners in addressing the threats of climate change and ensuring a climate resilient future for Pacific Island communities.”
CWC is a non-profit organization based in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia, that implements comprehensive programs which enhance the well-being of women and their families in Chuuk State.
USAID, through PACAM, is partnering with 12 Pacific Island countries to reduce long-term vulnerabilities associated with climate change. PACAM awards grants to civil society organizations in support of climate change adaptation measures which are mutually beneficial to both direct beneficiaries and the environment, such as livelihoods enhancement, improved health, food security, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable natural resources management.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
August 31, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—Four people accused of Human Trafficking along with a variety of other charges have been set free after the court declared them to be not guilty including one defendant who had entered into a plea agreement with the State.
The State filed multiple charges against the defendants on February 16 of this year including the charge of Human Trafficking. According to the court’s judgment, many of those charges were never addressed and were “left untouched by the Court”.
The State charges alleged that the defendants had required their under-aged family members to prostitute themselves at the Pohnpei port and also required them to bring the money from those activities back to the families.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
September 1, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—Two weeks ago, sirens blared and traffic was diverted as Pohnpei State and National police escorted 16 “state” cars to various locations on the island.
The motorcades coincided with the first ever visit of a Naval vessel from India to the FSM. The lack of information from officials regarding the visit from India and about the police escorted state cars caused many people to think that the motorcades were somehow related to the Indian visit. They were not related.
The escorted vehicles were part of police preparations and training for the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) that will take place during the week of September 5. On the 7th of November, 16 heads of state from the Pacific Region will take part in the PIF that will be held at the College of Micronesia- China Friendship gym and at the FSM Congress chambers. The theme for this year’s annual forum is “Small and Far: Challenges for Growth”.
On the day following the meeting, leaders from countries that are not a part of the PIF nations will hold a “post dialogue” meeting.
The State and National Police are charged with transporting and escorting the heads of state that will be visiting for the important annual meetings. The flow of traffic is apparently so important that classes in schools in the areas that might impact traffic have been cancelled for the duration of the meetings.

If the two day exercise of two weeks ago is any indication, Pohnpei drivers won’t know exactly what to do when faced with an oncoming convoy of high level leaders in large black cars accompanied by a large number of police vehicles.
Don’t feel too badly. We weren’t able to find any answers either, but do be careful.
We sought police advice on what drivers should expect during the PIF but in both the National and State police departments, the authority to answer questions on the matter was placed in a single hand for each department. Only one of those police sources responded to our requests for an interview on what to expect but then missed the appointment. The other never responded at all despite repeated messages for over a week.
Without a definitive answer from police about what drivers should expect we can only say that drivers should be attentive during the PIF and listen for sirens or honking horns that might indicate an approaching motorcade. Give right of way by pulling to the side of the road as soon as you hear them and let the motorcade pass.
Keep your stereo speakers down so that you can hear police sirens and don’t assume the motorcade will be driving in their correct lane. That seems like common sense but it might not be for some motorists in Pohnpei who do not drive defensively with an ear and an eye out for possibly life endangering impediments.
Drivers may encounter motorcades at any point during the Pacific Islands Forum and no information has been forthcoming about whether or not there will be any road closures.
The PIF organizing committee initially projected 500-600 visitors to Pohnpei. They currently project only 250-300 visitors, less than 1 percent of Pohnpei’s population.

waterfall

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
September 2, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—At 2:00 this afternoon the Pohnpei State Government entered into its second Public-Private Sector Partnership with the owners of the Kepirohi Falls landmark In Pohnpei.
The first Public-Private Sector Partnership was with the owners of the Lididuhniap Falls last July. Work has neared completion on that site and an inaugural tour will be offered to the Pacific Islands Forum leaders next Tuesday.
The core of the Kepirohi Falls agreement involve repair of the trails and provision of recreational facility in order to attract substantially more visitors, both local and international.
The heart of the matter is that access to both these falls, as well as most of the other 40 waterfalls in Pohnpei is dangerous or virtually impossible for the target tourist community of the 50+ demographic.
It is this group that has the time and money to visit Pohnpei.

click to view the original PDF pacific forum countries

08 SEP 2016

This week the 47th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting is taking place in the Federated States of Micronesia. The Pacific Islands Forum is the region’s premier political and economic policy organisation. Founded in 1971, it comprises 16 independent and self-governing states: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
Associate membership to the Forum is currently held by French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Tokelau. Forum Observer status is with Wallis and Futuna, the Commonwealth, the United Nations, the Asia Development Bank, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, the World Bank, the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and the International Organisation for Migration. Timor Leste is a Special Observer.
The Forum’s Vision is for a pacific region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity, so that all Pacific people can lead free, healthy, and productive lives.