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The Micronesia Resource & Research Institute (MRRI) opens for business


MRRI Press Release
January 30, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—The Micronesia Resource & Research Institute (MRRI), a non-governmental organization, celebrated its official opening on January 30, 2017 at its office at Capitol Suites & Offices, #100 in Palikir, Federated States of Micronesia.
The MRRI will provide services that include pre-departure orientation training, awareness regarding the threat of human trafficking, and referral to service providers in Guam and Hawai'i on legal, medical, and other social welfare matters, climate change and research.
MRRI Vice President and Interim Executive Director Emeliana J. Musrasrik thanked the FSM National Government, the International organization for Migration, the governments of the United States, Japan and Australia for their continuing support throughout the world on migration and humanitarian assistance. Musrasrik explained the importance of building capacity and maintaining relationship with the governments and local partners. MRRI intends to work in partnership with established NGOs in Chuuk, Yap and Kosrae to provide similar services to the citizens of the FSM. “We don’t take it for granted that everybody understands the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of living in a different country”, explained Musrasrik.
During his remarks, FSM Secretary for Foreign Affairs Lorin Robert stated that the opening of the MRRI writes a new chapter, sets a milestone in the relationship between FSM and MRRI, and thanked Ms. Musrasrik and the Board of Directors of MRRI for their vital role in opening the MRRI.
At a time when the issues of migrants are on the global agenda, the partnership between the national government and MRRI will make certain that FSM continues to ensure that its obligations under international and national laws are met. MRRI is a critical component of the services that FSM provides both for its citizens and citizens of other countries. Critical to this service is that this partnership will protect, without distinction, every person without exception within the jurisdiction of FSM.
Participants at the MRRI opening included Nankeniei Madolenihmw, Mrs. Pelihter Adolf; FSM Secretary for Foreign Affairs Lorin Robert, FSM Secretary for Resources and Development, Mr. Marion Henry; His Excellency George Fraser Australian Ambassador to the FSM; Board members Elizabeth Hadley and Dr. Manuel Rauchholz, Island Food Community; representatives of the FSM Department of Justice, FSM National Police, FSM Health, MMIC, Bank of Guam, Micronesian Productions, members of private businesses, students, MRRI Volunteers, and many others.
The Board of Directors of MRRI are President Glen Hayashida (CEO of National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii), Vice President Emeliana J. Musrasrik, Secretary/Treasurer Ricky Carl, Member Nanei of Nett, Elizabeth Hadley, Dr. Manuel Rauchholz, and Hawaii Senate Majority J. Kalani English.
Visit MRRI at the Captiol Suites & Offices, #100 in Palikir, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, Mailing Address: P.O. Box 2211, Kolonia, Pohnpei FM 96941; Telephone No. (691) 320-3313,

Micronesia Resource & Research Institute provides Anti-Human Trafficking Awareness at FSM Judicial Conference and Kosrae High School

anti trafficking

Two weeks after its opening, MRRI received an invitation by FSM Chief Justice Dennis Yamase to the FSM Judicial Conference in Kosrae from February 20-24 2017. MRRI Vice President and Executive Director Emeliana J. Musrasrik delivered an anti-human trafficking awareness message to over 50 national, state and local justices, court staff, lawyers, members of the Kosrae State Legislature and to government officials in Tofol, Kosrae on February 22.
Chuuk State Court Chief Justice Camilo Noket commended MRRI and thanked Ms. Musrasrik for opening the MRRI and providing such service to the citizens. “To have the passion and sacrifice to provide such free services to our citizens is highly commendable” says Chief Justice Noket. Similar sentiments were echoed by o ther justices and participants of the conference.
Working in collaboration with the Kosrae State Attorney General’s Office and Kosrae State Department of Education, Ms. Musrasrik conducted an anti-human trafficking awareness raising to about 575 high school students, teachers and members of civil society at the Kosrae gymnasium on February 24, 2017.
Freelancer and former FSM Ambassador Gerson Jackson, thanked MRRI and Ms. Musrasrik for providing such an important training for the students. “Human Trafficking is a new and very important issue in the FSM. Everyone should learn about human trafficking, recognize the signs and know where to report such serious crime”, says Jackson.
Visit MRRI at the Captiol Suites & Offices, #100 in Palikir, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia at Telephone No. (691) 320-3313, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Pohnpei Public Library receives donation of large screen television for education purposes

tv screenPohnpei Public Library
March 21, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—This month the library received a donation of a large flat screen television and headphone system from Aaron Nighswander and his wife Lara Studzinski. The donation provides library patrons with access to Micronesian specific videos on health, history and regional governance and allows up to four people to watch the same video at a time. The current system contains all of the Micronesian Seminar videos but will gradually be expanded to include educational videos from the College of Micronesia and other sources on the islands.
Mr Nighswander says he and his wife donated to equipment so that everyone could have access to some of the great resource videos that have been produced in the region over the years.
In addition to the television system, the Tuna Commission donated furniture so that library patrons will have a comfortable place to watch the videos.

Project for building taro cultivation tanks in Fais Island, Yap

taroOn March 1, 2017, the Grant Contract Signing Ceremony was held for the Project for Building Taro Cultivation Tanks in Fais Island, Yap state which provided Department of Public Works & Transportation, Yap State with US$75,417 under Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Projects.
The goal for this project is to provide thirty five (35) taro cultivation tanks which improve food security in Fais island. Fais island receives lots of damage for agriculture by strong typhoons and droughts by low-level of grounds every year. Therefore, the provided taro cultivation tanks expect to help to produce about 11,091kg taros per year for about (300) three hundred residents in the island.
Ambassador Horie Ryoichi noted this grant is not a one-way assistance but needs a partnership between Yap state and Japan. He expressed his sympathies for people residing in the island, as it is hard for them to receive assistance from outside of the isolated island. He also showed his excitement about implementing the project work with the Fais island community. In his speech of acknowledgement, Mr. Tony Ganngiyan, Governor of Yap State, stated that he was pleased to witness a history making moment for the Fais island community and expressed his sincere appreciation to the government and people of Japan.
Presented at the ceremony were Lt. Governor James Yangitmai, Director of Department of Public works & Transportation Jonathan Marmar, Director of Office of Administrative Services Julius Tun, Chief of Budget and Office of Planning and Budget Pius Talemaisai, Community representative Angel Ragmai, Community representative Jesse Salau, Deputy Director of Public works & Transportation Manuel Maleichog, Mrs. Horie and a staff of the Embassy of Japan in the FSM.

Pacific Islands Forum and China dialogue on partnerships for sustainable development


forum chinaMarch 20, 2017
Suva, Fiji – Strengthening relations and exploring future partnerships for sustainable development between Forum island countries and China, are the focus of a visit this week by a Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat delegation led by the Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor.
The five-day visit to Beijing, Guangzhou and Hainan Province will see the delegation meet with the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Wang Yi, the Guangdong Provincial Government, and attend the prestigious Boao Forum for Asia.
“China is a valued partner of the Pacific region and we look forward to a deeper and more dynamic relationship into the future,” said the Secretary General. “We want to learn more about how China is addressing issues relating to climate change and economic development. Issues that we are also facing in the Pacific”.
“Increasingly we have seen China taking a leadership role in addressing climate change and, given the Pacific’s vulnerability, we are grateful for that leadership. We hope China continues this role as the world implements the bold initiatives of the Paris Agreement.
“As ocean States we are naturally very interested in knowing more about the opportunities that rest within the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and more broadly President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative.’

Pohnpei anglers participate in “Tuna Commission” tourney

tuna commission

Pohnpei Fishing Club
March 10, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—After two weather related postponements, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (popularly known as the “Tuna Commission”) tournament finally took place on Saturday, March 11.
Even after all of the delays, sixteen boats signed up for the tournament. It ended up being a Mahi Mahi kind of day as those acrobatic fish took lure after lure for most of the boats. Though many Mahi Mahi were caught, the tournament was a Big Fish tournament and only two angles won prizes for their tasty catches.
The Tuna Commission not only put up the prizes for the winning angles but also donated life jackets to the club.
Even after the weather delays, the weather wasn’t always particularly cooperative on the day of the tournament. Just the same, everyone returned to port safely.
Before the winners of the tournament were announced members and watchers observed a moment of silence on behalf of Aminis David, Jr., (Jun), who recently passed away. Jun was a long time Pohnpei Fishing Club member and served as a member of the board, most recently as treasurer. A collection was taken up during the registration and at the weigh-in.
Some members of the club also donated their large fish to the family.
Anyone who would like to make a contribution to assist his family is encouraged to do so through the club or contact Steve Finnen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The tournament was a “Big Fish tournament” with prizes awarded to the biggest fish caught regardless of species. A potential jackpot prize for a record marlin was offered as well but no one caught anything like a prize winning marlin. Alex Tretnoff’s boat, Miss Yirwor did land a marlin that weighed in at 198 pounds but it had to be disqualified due to mutilation of the fish. “It was an unfortunate accident, but anglers must present whole fish to the weigh in,” said the Pohnpei Fishing Club Secretary.
The big prizes for the tournament were all for Yellowfin tuna.
Trevor Mix landed a 27.7 pound yellowfin for the third prize of $200. Westcott Panuelo’s second place fish was 30.6 pounds for a prize of $300. Marty Sanel had the biggest fish, a 93.8 pound yellowfin. It earned him a $400 prize.
Westcott Panuelo also took a $100 prize for his 27.1 pound yellowfin tuna. The next biggest fish was caught by Mark Johnny, a 20.9 pound Wahoo. He also earned $100. Another $100 prize winner was Wilber David for his 19.4 pound Barracuda. Mary Tretnoff won a $100 prize for her 19.8 pound Mahi Mahi, the biggest of that species caught during the day. Trevor Mix was awarded $100 for his seven pound Skipjack tuna.
Mary Tretnoff was awarded two lures from James Wichman for her 22 pound yellow fin as the winning lady angler.
Dane Nighswander, a junior angler received $50 for his 12.5 pound Mahi Mahi. His fishing accomplishments must be getting him a good start for his education fund.
Uta Finnen had a barbecue at the weigh in for the competition that included pulled pork sandwiches. Proceeds entirely benefitted the Pohnpei Public Library.
Also many thanks to Tina, Cel, Dr. Hedson and all the others who helped at the weigh in. We had lots of fish to weigh, and a few celebratory beers afterwards.
The next scheduled tournament will be March 25, 2017 and will be sponsored by the Caroline Fisheries Corporation.

Adaptation Fund Board greenlights record 13 project submissions including projects for FSM

Adaption Fund press release
March 21, 2017
Bonn, Germany—The Adaptation Fund Board meeting concluded in Bonn on March 17 with the approvals and endorsements of 13 project submissions, further enhancing the Fund's response to assist a rising number of vulnerable communities in developing countries with urgent adaptation needs build resilience to climate change.
The Adaptation Fund is an international fund that finances projects and programs aimed at helping developing countries to adapt to the harmful effects of climate change. It is set up under the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The meeting set a record in funding approvals for a total amount of US$ 60.3 million. The funding approvals included a US$ 9 million project to enhance resilience of several vulnerable island communities to drought and flooding in the Federated States of Micronesia, which will be implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program, a Regional Implementing Entity