NGO Pasifika Renaissance - YouTube Channel

Dr. Takuya Nagaoka (Executive Director, NGO Pasifika Renaissance)
Pasifika Renaissance was established in September 2014 in Japan as an NGO, with a mission to preserve and promote cultural and historical heritage in the Pacific Islands. We aim to revitalize traditional culture and empower local communities. We work in three main fields: documenting, researching, and teaching about traditional cultures and cultural heritage; providing technical assistance to relevant agencies and organizations; and promoting tourism. You can find out more at our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ PasifikaRenaissance/), where we post cultural and historical information such as historical photos and educational materials and share updates on our organization’s activities.
We are currently engaged in a major project to document oral tradition in Pohnpei State. Many older Micronesians have fond childhood memories of listening to stories told by elderly relatives before bed. This practice, however, has been largely lost in Pohnpei due to the spread of new media such as videos and games and the decline of the younger generation’s interest in traditional culture.
In order to document stories from knowledgeable elders and pass them down to younger generations, Pasifika Renaissance began filming those stories in 2015 sharing the videos on our YouTube channel with kind permission from the FSM Office of National Archives, Culture and Historic Preservation. This method of documenting and sharing traditional knowledge through online media is rare in the Pacific Islands. However, we believe that it has a great potential for future applications due to the relative ease of use and the Internet’s global reach. Our project has been welcomed and supported by traditional chiefs, elders and other community members, who share our concern that traditional knowledge could be lost.
We are very happy to announce that we have now uploaded more than 200 narrative videos on our YouTube channel (https://goo.gl/U5HrjL). These stories include legends, traditional tales, historical events, customs, chants and songs from Pohnpei (9 videos), Pingelap (69), Mwoakilloa (11), Sapwuahfik (60), Nukuoro (25), and Kapingamarangi (24), as well as two island groups of Chuuk State: the Mortlock Islands (10) and Namonuito (7). Soon, we hope to add more videos from Pohnpei, where we began our work just this year in collaboration with the Division of Historic Preservation and Cultural Affairs, Pohnpei State Department of Land.
Our YouTube channel has attracted over 150,000 views. Of these views, 78.5% are from United States, where one third of FSM citizens now reside. 12% of our views come from within the FSM. Our YouTube channel has now reached 1,250 views per day, which we believe suggests a keep interest in these stories.
We would like to thank our storytellers and others who have supported this project, as well as generous donors such as the KDDI Foundation in Japan. We hope by watching these videos, people can continue to pass on these stories to their children and younger relatives.
If you would like to contribute stories or know someone who is willing to share stories with us, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phoning the above Division (320-2652). If you have a knowledgeable elderly relative or friend staying overseas and have the ability to record his/her story via cellphone, tablet or digital camera, please let us know. Please follow us on Facebook and our YouTube channel to receive updates as this project develops.
We plan to extend this project to other states in the FSM and other Pacific regions in the near future, and hope to collaborate with researchers, government agencies, NGOs, and community members. Please get in touch, and let us know how you can help spread this “renaissance” movement!

On March 30th FSM Department of Foreign Affairs welcomed 2 new JICA Volunteers to the Federated States of Micronesia. For more than twenty-eight years, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been dispatching volunteers to the FSM, assisting priority sectors in Education, Health, Environment, Agriculture, Fisheries, Tourism and other fields.
The new Senior Volunteer dispatched to Pohnpei, FSM National Olympic Committee (NOC) is Mr. Takahashi Akifumi who will be assisting with Swimming for Pohnpei and the swimmers in order to attend Japan Olympic Games in 2020. The new JOCV Mr. Noguchi Gen will be dispatched to Kosrae and is assigned to Utwe Elementary School to teach Mathematics.
Currently, 13 volunteers; 8 Senior Volunteers (SV) and 5 JOCVs (Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer), are serving in the FSM including the new volunteers. Most of them will serve two years in their respective posts. The aim of the volunteer program is to develop a better life for the local people and community.

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MAHI INTERNATIONAL - MAY 2017
Living on a little island in the middle of the Pacific where there is no specialty doctor to attend to your life-threatening condition can bring anyone to a point of defeat and hopelessness. Especially if there are budget cuts for off-island medical referral cases. Especially if your family has zero health insurance, and minimum wage is painfully at $1.75 an hour. Defeat. Hopelessness. Such was Juntwo’s case not so long ago.
For more than 10 years, Juntwo struggled with a debilitating kidney condition. With each passing year, it became more difficult for Juntwo to function normally due to the increasing, painful attacks. Eventually her condition got so severe that she was unable to attend school and she became very weak. In late 2016, the hospital diagnosed Juntwo and recommended off-island medical referral because there is no urologist in Pohnpei who can provide the life-saving surgery she needed. MAHI International learned of Juntwo’s situation and wanted to help. She became MAHI International’s first medical referral to the U.S.

public libraryThis year Pohnpei Public Library celebrated its 30th Anniversary with a “Library Week,” from Monday, April 24 to Friday, April 28. The theme for this year’s celebration was “Libraries Transform”. Two Organizations took part during the week to share some of their promotional program. On April 25, Island Food Community of Pohnpei (IFCP) did a presentation on the importance of our local food. On April 27, International Organization of Migration (IOM) shared how to prepare for emergency kit for disaster. In addition, snacks and prizes were provided to participants on these events.
On Friday evening, the library held a special celebration to commemorate the anniversary and to recognize essay and art contest winners. This event began with a prayer by Wahnporon Bruce Robert. Friends of the Pohnpei Public Library (FPPL) President, Rufino Mauricio PhD, who is also the Director of FSM National Archives gave a welcoming remarks. This year, library was fortunate to have Emelihter Kihleng, PhD, Cultural Anthropologist for the Pohnpei State Historic Preservation Program, to be the Keynote Speaker of the evening. On her speech, she shared her story throughout her childhood and how books had transformed her. She shared some books that she read and suggested everyone to read. She also shared a poem she recently wrote.

kitty

On Tuesday, May 2nd, a short signing ceremony took place on the island of Peniou, Kitti Municipality, for the adoption and endorsement of the Kitti Municipal Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) Coastal Fisheries Management Plan. This plan will serve as a critical step in guiding the development of the local government's coastal resources. The endorsed document contains actions that address fisheries management priorities identified through consultation conducted with the Local Government Representatives. The plan also supports development objectives intended to maintain a more sustainable and productive coastal environment. Attendees of the official endorsement ceremony were the Soukisoahloang Nahnmwarki of Kitti (Kitti Paramount Chief) Nahnalek Kitti, Luhkenmoanlap (Mayor of Kitti) Tonio Sarapio with staff of Kitti Municipal Government, Speaker of Kitti Isokohnedi (Kitti Council) Sother Anthon, Chairman of Kitti Delegation, Pohnpei State Legislature Senator McGarry Miguel, community members from Enipein, Partnering NGO's from The Micronesian Conservation Trust, RARE Micronesia, donor representatives from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Conservation Society of Pohnpei.

PALIKIR, POHNPEI – May 05, 2017. The Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia will convene on May 11, 2017, in Palikir to seat the recently elected two-year representatives of the states to the Nation’s twentieth congressional body.
According to the recent elections in March 2017, the following elected two-year Senators will be seated to represent their states in the 20th Congress. Representing the municipalities and regions in the State of Chuuk are:
1.Florencio Singkoro Harper, to represent Congressional Election District (ED)- One, comprised of the Mortlocks Islands;
2.Victor Gouland, for Congressional ED-Two, comprised of Weno and Northern Namoneas;
3.Derensio S. Konman, to represent Congressional ED-Three made up of the Tonoas, Uman, Fefan, Parem and Tsis of;
4.Tiwiter Aritos, for Congressional ED-Four or also known as the Faichuuk Region; and
5.Robson Romolow, as representative of Congressional ED-Five also known as the Halls and Western Islands, and Namonuito.
Two year representatives from the State of Pohnpei are:
1.Ferny S. Perman, for Congressional ED-One comprised of Kolonia, Sokehs, Sapwuahfik, Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi;
2.Dion G. Neth, for Congressional ED-Two made up of Madolenihmw and Kitti; and
3.Esmond B. Moses, for Congressional ED-Three comprised of U, Nett, Mwoakilloa and Pingelap.
Paliknoa K. Welly from the State of Kosrae and Isaac V. Figir of the State of Yap are the two-year representatives of their respective states to the new congressional body.
Also to be seated to the 20th Congress are the At-large or four-year representatives of the states and they are:
1.Wesley W. Simina from Chuuk;
2.Alik L. Alik from Kosrae;
3.David W. Panuelo from Pohnpei; and
4.Joseph J. Urusemal Yap.
The general public is invited to witness the Opening Session of the new Twentieth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia in Palikir at 10am on Thursday - May 11, 2017. Through the services of the FSM Telecommunications Corporations and the assistances of the Pohnpei Public Broadcasting Corporation, the event will be streamed live from Palikir through the state radios.

The Weloy municipal chief, James Manguon, along with his council men (traditional village’s chiefs) convened in Ramaan, Okaw in Yap on April 13, 2017 to sign and endorse their Forest Stewardship Plan. This is the first Forest Stewardship Plan developed in Yap State counting towards the Micronesia Challenge terrestrial measure goal. This planning document will serve as initial guidance for the Weloy municipality in their efforts towards their natural resource and community management actions. This will be a living document that the community will update in 2020. Within the initial 3 years, the community targets to implement activities to achieve 2 goals identified in the plan: (1) Conservation and effective management of natural and other significant resources within the Weloy Forest Stewardship focus area. (2) Foster good stewardship awareness and education campaign for Weloy.
This community effort was made possible with the financial assistance provided by Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT), USDA-Forest Services, and technical assistance by the local partners, Yap Community Action Program, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Yap State Division of Agriculture, Micronesia Challenge Regional Coordinator and Yap Institute of Natural Science.

JICA has donated the 1st batch of 75 Immuno-Chroimatiographic Test (ICT) kits and additional consumable medical supplies to support the Pacific Program to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (PacELF) in the Federated States of Micronesia. On April 13th, 2017, staff from National Environmental Health and Food Safety Unit and Immunization Program along with JICA staff received and inspected the ICT Filariasis Rapid Assessment kit and ensured its proper storage. These kits will be delivered and utilized in certain states in the FSM along with its neighboring islands based upon needs assessment survey conducted in previous years. The 2nd batch of 75 ICT kits is expected to arrive in Pohnpei on or around the month of September, 2017.
In 1999, under the umbrella of the global Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) elimination program, PacELF was launched by World Health Organization (WHO) to eliminate LF in the Pacific by the year 2020. Since 2001, under Japan’s Technical Cooperation Project, JICA has been donating ICT kits to the FSM in support of ending the spread of this infection. JICA recognizes the health sector as a priority issue in the FSM and will continue to provide support and cooperation in this area. According to Mr. Shinji SHIBATA, Resident Representative of JICA Micronesia Office, “We hope these kits will contribute to the complete elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis in the FSM.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 14, 2017) – The Trust Fund Committee of the Trust Fund for the People of the Federated States of Micronesia (the Fund) approved the Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) Annual Report on April 1st. The FY16 Audited Financial Statements were completed by the independent auditor, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, on March 27th and presented to the Committee on April 12th. Both reports were released to the respective governments.
The Fund’s restricted fiduciary net position value increased 17.5% to $466,938,730 for FY16 from
$397,313,588 for FY15. The increase was primarily due to contributions from the United States government ($28,288,800) and gross investment income from investments ($42,148,280). There was a net investment gain of $41,519,302.
The Fund had a weighted annual rate of return of 9.71%, following a loss of 2.59% for FY15 and three consecutive growth years: 9.1% for FY14, 14.4% for FY13, and 15.9% for FY12. Overall, on a performance basis, net of fees, the Fund has had a 4.96% return since inception, below the benchmark of 5.40%.
Total investment and administrative expenses decreased to 0.81% of restricted fiduciary net position in FY16 from 0.88% in FY15. Investment expenses increased in dollar value but decreased to 0.77% of restricted fiduciary net position from 0.81% in FY15. Administrative expenses decreased in dollar value and as a percent of restricted fiduciary net position to 0.04% from 0.07%.
The FY16 audit performed by Baker Tilly was completed on time and according to U.S Generally Accepted Auditing Standards and Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. There were no audit findings.
The Trust Fund for the People of the Federated States of Micronesia was established by the Compact of Free Association, as Amended, as codified in the Compact of Free Association Amendments Act of 2003 (U.S. Public Law 108-188, December 17, 2003). The Trust Fund’s purpose is to contribute to the economic advancement and long-term budgetary self-reliance of the FSM by providing a source of revenue for the government and the people of the Federated States of Micronesia when certain grants under the Amended Compact of Free Association expire in 2023.

The Honorable Yosiwo P. George, Vice President of the FSM, paid an official working visit to Japan from April 11 to 15, 2017. The purpose of this trip was to explore vocational opportunities in Japan and to meet with colleges, key officials, and organizations to discuss these opportunities.
The trip provided Vice President George the opportunity to thank the people and government of Japan for its economic assistance over the years – which has played an important part in the economic development of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). The trip also provided opportunities to look further into strengthening cooperation in the fields of goodwill exchanges, education and capacity building of the country’s human resources.
While in Tokyo, the Vice President held a meeting with the Chairman and other members of the Japan-FSM Parliamentary Friendship League, where friendly exchanges on important issues concerning the FSM and Japan were discussed. Both sides committed to working together for the mutual benefit of the two countries, acknowledged the development taking place in bilateral relations, and encouraged more interactions at all levels to further strengthen the existing relations between the peoples and government of the two countries taking into consideration the upcoming 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2018. Vice President also held a meeting with the Association for Promotion of International Cooperation (APIC) and a visit to the Pacific Island Center (PIC).
The program of the visit also included Konan City in Aichi Prefecture, Aichi Konan Community College, and Hakuho College in Nara Prefecture. In his interactions with officials and representatives of Konan City, Konan Community College and Hakuho College, the Vice President reiterated his desire to further nurture the good relations, and hoped to identify and promote educational as well as capacity building opportunities for students of the FSM.
The delegation of the Vice President consisted of the Second Lady Mrs. Antelise George, Special Assistant to Vice President Mr. Herman Semes Jr., FSM Department of Education Post-Secondary Administrator Ms. Joyleen Sienes, accompanied by Ambassador Fritz and First Secretary Suenaga from the FSM Embassy in Tokyo. The delegation arrived in Tokyo and departed from Osaka.

anzac dayBy Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
April 25, 2017
Pohnpei—In the pre-dawn hours dozens of people gathered together at the Kangaroo Court, the Royal Australian Navy housing complex, to commemorate ANZAC Day.
The 25th of April, ANZAC Day, is one of Australia's and New Zealand’s most important national commemorative events marking the anniversary of the first major military action involving Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. Around the world and in every city and town in Australia and New Zealand, commemoration services are held at dawn, the time of the original landing by the ANZAC’s on the beaches of Gallipoli, Turkey in 1915. It is a day when all Australians and New Zealanders reflect on the sacrifices of so many.
Chief Petty Officer Johnny O’Keefe served as the Master of Ceremonies. Lt. Commander Luke Andrews gave the call to commemoration drawing attention to the hardships that service personnel endured as a result of conflict in the First World War, not just during the Gallipoli campaign, but on other battlefields as well. He described the fifteen values enshrined above the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier, and said that those values should not be lost in the defense of basic freedoms.
The Youth for Change choir performed and excellent rendition of “Abide With Me”.
Australia’s Charge d’Affaires, Eliza Woolcock spoke next. “Australians and New Zealanders had fought in battle before April 1915 but as part of another nation’s forces. We commemorate this as ANZAC Day because it is the anniversary of the first time they fought under the flags of their own countries,” she said.
“This is a day of remembrance for the fallen, and of the returned. The words ‘we will remember them’, and ‘lest we forget’, are always part of these services...While all wars are tragedies, we must not diminish the sacrifices of those who gave everything, who put their own lives at risk to protect others from the atrocity of further war. Harry Emerson Fosdick says, ‘the tragedy of war is that it uses man's best, to do man's worst.’
“We do not glorify war, but we are grateful for the willingness of service men and women to put their lives at risk for the good of others; to work together to protect values, and people, not only of their time, but also for future generations unknown to them,” she said.
After he speech, representatives of several nations participated in the laying of wreaths at the ANZAC shrine.
LCDR Andrews’ daughter Charlize read the Ode to the Fallen after which the Last Post was sounded as national flags were lowered to half-mast by Lachlan Andrews and Brayden O’Keefe with the assistance of their fathers.
The gathered crowd participated in one minute of silence after which Reveille was sounded while the national flags were raised to mast head.
The national anthems of New Zealand and Australia were played.
After the solemn ceremony, a traditional, hearty “Gun Fire Breakfast” was served on the compound.

tournament
Pohnpei Fishing Club
April 29, 2017
Pohnpei—In conjunction with the first ever international “World Tuna Day”, FSM’s National Fisheries Commission and Taiyo Micronesia Corporation sponsored a fishing tournament offering $10,000 worth of prizes. The purse attracted 37 boats, a record for any previous Pohnpei Fishing Club (PFC) tournaments.
It was also the first tournament to award separate prizes for two classes of boats—small boats with 40 horsepower or less, and big boats above 40 horsepower. Prizes were evenly divided between the two classes of boats. The smaller boats couldn’t range as far and as fast as the higher powered boats. However, it was Ioanis Mikel who won the top prize of $1000 for his 154.3 pound marlin aboard Miss Enpein, a boat with only a 15 horsepower engine.
The remaining top combined prizes for “biggest fish” went to people fishing aboard “big boats”.
Mary Tretnoff won $800 for her 112.4 pound marlin.
Westcott Panuelo landed two large yellowfin tuna at 108.9 and 100.3 pounds earning him the third and fourth prizes for a total prize purse of $1000.
Ryan Hawley also caught a large yellow fin at 96.6 pounds. His catch earned him $300.
The remaining prizes were for largest of each species for each class of boat engine size.
For the smaller boat engine sizes, Wilfred Edmund landed the largest Yellowfin Tuna. At 28.7 pounds, his catch earned him $200. The second largest yellowfin was 10.8 pounds, caught by Arnold Henry, earning him $100.
Snyder Biza caught the only wahoo in the small boat category which gave him the top prize of $200 for his catch.
For Barracuda, Kojack Sienes earned $200 for his 17.6 pound catch, and junior angler Dave Spencer took second place for $100 with his 10.1 pound barracuda. He also won top prize as a junior angler in the category for a 13.4 pound barracuda.

akkilino

Another page in the history of the diplomatic relations between the Federated States of Micronesia and the United States was turned on 24 April 2017 when President Donald J. Trump accepted the credentials of Mr. Akillino H. Susaia as Ambassador of the FSM to the United States in a ceremony held at the Oval Office of the White House. The two men exchanged pleasantries, after which Ambassador Susaia presented his formal statement, a copy of which is provided hereunder at length:
Mr. President,
It is with high sense of duty that I convey at the outset President Peter M. Christian’s warm greetings and best wishes of fine health and continued prosperity to you, your family and the American people. The rest of the leadership of the Federated States of Micronesia joins him in expressing our collective sincere appreciation for the continued friendship and assistance that the American people and leaders have extended to the people of Micronesia over the years through the instruments of the Compact of Free Association. It is our collective desire to deepen the affinities between the peoples of our two countries and to continue our existing cooperative efforts in promoting the rewards of Democracy around the globe.

guam

While transiting in Guam from his working visit to Japan, the Honorable Yosiwo P. George, Vice President of the FSM, had the opportunity to meet with Mrs. Sam Mabini, Ph.D., from the Guam Department of Labor to discuss vocational training and opportunities for our citizens through the apprentice programs at the Guam American Job Center, the Trade Academy, Apprentices Program offered by the Guam Community College. According to Mabini, there was grant award funding the labor department received in the amount of $2.2M for the Reemployment and System Integration National Dislocated Worker Grant. Currently, the grant has been used for system integration through “HireGuam” at www.hireguam to centralize availability of jobs and a pool of technical skilled workers as a one stop source to link education and training to public and private partners. Mrs. Mabini is interested in working with the FSM to be part of this partnership. She plans to brief Freely Associated State leaders during the Micronesia Island Forum (MIF) in May, which is scheduled to be held in Guam.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
May 2, 2017
Pohnpei—This morning the winners of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) World Tuna Day Art and Talent Quest were officially announced. The top two prizes winners for the contest are from Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. The contest was open to contestants from all of the PNA countries.
Last year’s top prize winner was Jasmine Mendiola who is also from Pohnpei, FSM. She now serves as Tuna Ambassador for the PNA.
While PNA nations have celebrated tuna day for several years, the United Nations only last year declared May 2nd to be World Tuna Day throughout the world and the announcements were timed to coincide with that day.
Lien Mwoakilloa won a community prize of $1000 USD for their video entry of their Winehk (bird school) dance depicting tuna fishing and consumption in Pohnpei. “The judges were impressed with the women's display of joy and fishing traditions,” the PNA Facebook page says.

tuna day 01

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
May 2, 2017
Pohnpei—Last year the United Nations declared May 2 of each year to be World Tuna Day across the world. This was after a first push by the Parties to the Nauru agreement introduced the idea in 2011. Since then the eight Pacific islands nations who were signatories to the Nauru Agreement have recognized a Tuna Day to various degrees but this year was the first year for the FSM to have a day of real celebration.
The Parties to the Nauru Agreement is a group of eight Pacific Island nations who together control the world’s most lucrative tuna fishing grounds. In 1982, the countries agreed to act in concert together in order to return the maximum benefit of the natural resources to the islands that hold those waters. The nations are the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Republic of Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, and Tuvalu.

takeuchiFloyd K. Takeuchi
“Tropical Light,” a photography exhibit featuring images of Chuuk Lagoon and Xavier High School, will open in Tokyo, Japan on May 12. The exhibit by photographer-writer Floyd K. Takeuchi will be on display at Sophia University, the Jesuit university. The Tokyo-based Association for Promotion of International Cooperation (APIC) is sponsoring the exhibit, which runs through June 9.
“APIC’s mission is to nurture strong relations between Japan and the nations of the Pacific and Caribbean,” said Peter Y. Sato, APIC’s president. “Floyd’s photographs show in dramatic fashion the natural beauty and human potential of the Micronesia region. It’s also a part of the Pacific with long historic and family ties to Japan.”
“Tropical Light” features 15 large photographs, the largest being 98-inches wide by 56-inches tall. The photos of Chuuk Lagoon were originally made for a commission from the L5 Hotel on Weno. They are among the photographs that are displayed throughout the hotel. The photographs of Xavier High School were made for Takeuchi’s book, “School on the Hill.”

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The exhibit will open with a lecture by Takeuchi on his cross-cultural photography over the past 15 years in the Pacific, Hawaii and Japan. There will be an opening program, followed by a reception.
Takeuchi is a writer-photographer who has spent most of his 40-year career working in the Pacific. An American based in Hawaii, Takeuchi was born and raised in the Marshall Islands. He’s had 14 photography exhibits in Hawaii.
Information on APIC can be found at http://www.apic.or.jp/index_eng.html. More of Takeuchi’s work can be found at his website, www.floydtakeuchi.com.

global green

April 17, 2017
Micronesia Conservation Trust Press Release
The Global Green-grants Fund (GGF) Pacific Islands Advisory Board met in Pohnpei from March 27-29, 2017 to discuss GGF funding priorities, meet with GGF grant recipients from Pohnpei and visit some of the project sites, and to review and approve (or reject) new project proposals from Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia. The GGF Pacific Islands Advisory Board members who attended the meeting included Cedric Schuster of Samoa, John Ericho of Papua New Guinea, Willie Atu of the Solomon Islands, Leah Nimoho of Vanuatu, and Willy Kostka of Micronesia. Also, attending the workshop were GGF Secretariat representatives Allison Davis and Margaret Rimoni. GGF is a US based foundation that supports communities to protect, restore, and transform their environments for a sustainable future. Since 1993, GGF has made more than $63 million in grants to local groups in 167 countries. Last year the Kousapw Poahloang Organization become GGF’s 10,000th grant recipient.

FSM National Public Auditor
April 19, 2017
Palikir, Pohnpei--The ONPA announces the release of the Agreed Upon Procedure Engagement Report Number 2017-02A on NORMA Fisheries Access Agreement.
This engagement was conducted based on a request from the Chairman of FSM Congressional Committee on Resources and Development solely to provide assistance in obtaining information specific to fishing revenues, fishing days and non fishing days, traded fishing days, and donated goods and services from foreign fishing partners. The procedures were agreed to by the Chairman and the Executive Director of NORMA.
The sufficiency of the procedures is solely the responsibility of the specified parties in the report. We made no representation regarding the sufficiency of the procedures either for the purpose of which the report has been requested or for any other purpose. Our responsibility is to perform the agreed upon procedures and report the results.


We developed two versions of the engagement report (full and redacted copy) based on our evaluation on the concerns raised by the specified parties on the sensitivity and confidentiality of subject matters regarding the vessel day scheme. The full copy was distributed to selected officials while the redacted copy was released to the public.
The summary results of the procedures are as follows:

Fishing Revenue:
Approximately $9.8 million out of $173 million fishing rights fees collected could not be traced to fisheries access agreements or the supporting documents did not provide proper basis in determining the nature and amount that should be collected for fishing fees; and some amounts could not be traced to any fishing association/company;
Approximately $9.6 million identified as under collection for fisheries access agreements; (Approximately $158 million should be collected for fisheries access agreements; however, only $149 million was identified as collected for fisheries access agreements);
We could not determine whether the collections for fisheries access agreements were delayed;
NORMA’s monitoring mechanism only started in calendar year 2015; however, there has been no regular reconciliation between the Department of Finance and Administration and NORMA to establish uncollected amounts and to identify and resolve discrepancies between their records.

Donated Goods and Services:
There was no written policy or procedure in place to govern the receiving of donated goods and services by the recipients;
Only Japan and Korea provided donated goods to FSM in which they were not reflected in the fisheries access agreements; however, the practice has been to execute a memorandum of understanding in case of Japan and no written agreement in case of Korea;
The received donated goods from Korea in 2013 and 2014 and Japan in 2014 were not in compliance with Title 24 FSMC 114 as well as received donated goods from Japan for 2013 and 2015;
Either only few or none at all of the donated fixed assets received were recorded in each respective FSM government’s fixed assets register. Based on our inspection of the donated assets, we could not locate or inspect some of the assets due to absence of proper documentation for redistributed assets.

This agreed-upon procedure engagement was conducted in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States, which incorporates related attestation standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
The redacted copy of the report can be accessed online at www.fsmopa.fm.

pageant 01

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
April 18, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—Jenna Panuelo of Pohnpei is a contestant in the Miss Earth Guam pageant 2017 that will be held in June in Guam. She says that she is the first Pohnpeian contestant in the pageant’s history which began in 2008 and has been held annually since then.
The winner of the Miss Earth Guam pageant in June will represent Guam at the international Miss Earth pageant in October. The venue for that pageant has not yet been announced but there are currently rumors that it will be held in Cancun, Mexico.
According to the official rules for the pageant, a contestant must be between the ages of 17 and 26. She must either be currently attending High School or a graduate from High School. She must be single and never have been pregnant. She must be at least 5’4” tall and be able to represent the pageant not just as a beauty, which is also required, but as a person of good moral character who understands the environmental issues that affect the islands. They must also have been a resident of Guam for at least six months.

Island Food Community of Pohnpei
April 7, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—On April 7, 2017, the Island Food Community of Pohnpei(IFCP) hosted a food tasting of dishes made from locally processed banana and taro flour.
The objective of the food tasting was to determine if locally produced banana and taro flours tasted good and could be recommended for household use, local marketing, and possible export . IFCP invited some representatives from the local government and from the private sector to be the food tasting panel.
The event was part of the ongoing research being spearheaded at IFCP by Mr. Konrad Englberger to produce flour from banana, giant swamp taro, breadfruit, coconut and pumpkin with skin and without skin at different maturity stages, peeled and unpeeled for food security, local marketing and possible export.
Among the 24 food tasters were Governor Mr. Peterson and Director of the Department of Health, Mr. Kapilly Capelle.
There were twelve dishes with different types of flour. There were two giant swamp taro soups, eight banana cakes, two taro cakes, and two banana breads. The result showed that there was no significant difference between flour prepared from bananas and taro with skin on or with skin removed. 24 people participated as panelists. The average results of scoring were that 48 percent “liked the dishes very much”. 38 percent scored them as “good”. 12 percent said they were “acceptable”, and two percent ranked them as “unacceptable”.
These activities will continue until the end of the year and other crops like breadfruit with skin and core will be compared with breadfruit with skin removed.
Some of the flour will be sent to a food laboratory in New Zealand to analyze the nutritional content. It is expected that the local types of flour are higher in Beta- Carotene than imported, processed flour and also that they are gluten-free.
There will be one or two more food tastings with some of the new products in the near future. There are a limited number of free samples at IFCP which can be obtained for tasting.
We would like to express our appreciation and thanks to the FSM National Govt, the Department of Health and Social Affairs, the State Dept of Health and Social Affairs, the family and friends of Late Dr. Lois Englberger, and the Bill Raynor Estate for funding support.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
April 18, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—FSM President Peter M. Christian has signed into law an amendment doubling the distance from all FSM shore lines in which commercial marine activities are now banned. It is an idea that he proposed during a speech on the Congress floor when he was a Senator in the 18th Congress. But it wasn’t until April 4, during the last special session of the 19th Congress that the formalized bill, introduced by request by Floor Leader Florencio Singkoro Harper, was passed on second reading.
Ever since the FSM became a country, the closed area seaward from FSM shore lines has extended only 12 nautical miles out to sea. The new law doubles that distances to 24 nautical miles.
If an operator is caught exploiting natural resources within the 24 nautical mile zone, he can be fined not more than $15,000 and not more than $50,000. The FSM would then have the discretion to exclude the operator from a future license or fishing negotiation. The law allows the FSM to provide discretionary exemption to the closed area to locally owned fishing companies.
It’s a significant step but still not quite half the distance of the closures in some other Pacific Islands countries, some with much smaller exclusive economic zones than the FSM which has the second largest EEZ in the Western and Central Pacific.
Conservation organizations are applauding the move.

peace corpse

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
April 18, 2017
Pakin, Pohnpei—Symtech Solar, a renewable company has recently completed phase two of a solar power project on Pakin Atoll in Pohnpei, according to its newsletter.
“Symtech Solar partnered with Peace Corps and Mahi International to install Phase 1 of a group of solar PV systems on the island’s local school to help bring the area out of fossil-fuel dependency,” the newsletter said.
“Since the inception of this project, the local people and government have relied happily on this Off-Grid PV system to provide ice making capabilities, lighting, and computer power for their local school.”
Phase 2 added another 4kW Off-Grid photo-voltaic (PV) system including a 24 meter telecom tower that will serve to provide a communications link between Pohnpei and Pakin.

robotocs 02Micronesia's famously traditional Island of Stone Money is sending top students to a high tech global robotics competition this summer. The team, their teachers, and a network of supporters, are working hard to ensure they arrive on time, properly equipped, and prepared to compete.
The FIRST Global Challenge is a worldwide robotics competition scheduled for mid-July in Washington DC. Small student teams design, build, and compete complex robots from simple parts. Featuring over 150 teams from across the planet, it also serves as a forum for students to meet and partner with diverse international peers.
"We are proud to have Micronesia attend FIRST Global -a beautiful country too often overlooked due to distance and size, and yet so eager to participate in our international event," exclaimed former Congressman and retired Admiral Joe Sestak, organizer the event "Famous for having used star navigation throughout the ages to travel across the Pacific, Micronesia is a vivid example that when there is a passion you are willing to feed and a thirst for knowledge you are eager to quench, the re is no limit to the amazing things you can achieve." The hard work of the Micronesian students in their technical preparations is matched only by the simultaneous efforts to raise money needed for their trip. For the competition the team must switch to an entirely new type of robot. Mastering the bots will take enormous commitment from students and teachers at Yap Catholic High School, winners of the 2016 Yap Robo Day competition. It also requires four round trip airplane tickets from Yap to Washington DC.

F4

By Mason Wiley
COM Center for Entrepreneurship
On August 7th, a beautiful Friday night, COM-FSM hosted the Friday Food Fashion Festival (F4) at the Spanish Wall baseball field. The event lasted from 5pm-8pm and hosted around 20 student-operated businesses From 5pm to 8pm, hundreds of Pohnpeian residents meandered among the tents that hosted over 20 student-operated businesses with a variety of products and services, including hot sauce, handcrafted furniture, bluetooth speakers, premium coffee drinks, local delicacies, and much more.

F4 02The Yapese Student Organization and Chuu- Chok (a student organization) also provided spirited traditional dance. The event has grown significantly over the years from a handful of students trying their hand at a business for the day at tables on National Campus to a night festival that invites the entire community to participate. The COM-FSM Business Division began the F4 as a way to assess business students’ understanding of business fundamentals, but it has since found support within the College’s Career and Technical Education divisions on Pohnpei Campus and the Center for Entrepreneurship. Although the primary purpose of the event is to provide a real world setting to practice and evaluate students’ business acumen, students and residents of Pohnpei are beginning to see the event as a chance to showcase Micronesian innovation.
The success of the F4 will certainly lead to bigger and better F4s in future semesters. There are also plans to include more local entrepreneurs in order to capture a snapshot of the FSM’s full entrepreneurial potential. Perhaps with enough support it could even lead to regular public markets to encourage some of our islands’ enterprisers to take a shot at the small business they’ve been dreaming about.