Marianas Variety

Last updateWed, 17 Jul 2019 12am







    Tuesday, July 16, 2019-1:55:15P.M.






Font Size


MINA: ‘My world, my problem’

THE 2018 Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance Green Gala is proof that the community has moved beyond the mindset “it is not my problem” to “my world, my problem,” MINA Executive Director Roberta Guerrero said.

About 200 people attended the gala on Friday in Hibiscus Hall at the Fiesta Resort & Spa.

Guerrero said the annual gala’s aim is to promote environmental awareness and to raise funds for MINA’s programs. These include the Tasi Watch whose rangers conduct surveillance particularly in the Garapan watershed and report any violations such as illegal dumping that could end up in the ocean.

MINA also conducts conservation awareness by going to schools and teaching children about the importance of conserving resources and keeping the environment healthy.

Guerrero noted that a few days before the gala, the 200 tickets printed this year had already been sold.

She said this year’s event also celebrated  the International Year of the Reef so the gala venue  highlighted an ocean theme.

“We have seen a lot of coral bleaching, climate change, and rising temperatures in our oceans. We have seen massive storms from the Atlantic all the way through the Pacific which some say are caused by climate change,” Guerrero said in an interview.

MINA chair Fran Castro thanked the sponsors of the Green Gala. “They are the voices that want to make a difference for our resources. This event is for our islands, our culture, and for our resources.”

MINA has been hosting the gala for six years now. Castro said the event is sold out every year. “We are happy that a lot of people support us. We do a lot of work to protect the environment, and people really embrace it.”

This year, Kathy Yuknavage received the Environmental Champion award.

Kathy Yuknavage delivers her remarks after receiving the 2018 MINA Environmental Champion award.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. LirioKathy Yuknavage delivers her remarks after receiving the 2018 MINA Environmental Champion award. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

Monique Sablan, mistress of  ceremonies, said Yuknavage is someone “who raised her voice when no one else would and moved ahead when we lost momentum.”

Mount Carmel School’s Eco Club is this year’s recipient of the Green Hero Award.

Master of ceremonies Romolo Orsini said the club was formed in 2017 even though its proponents didn’t know how to find funding for environmental projects. “Nonetheless, they went ahead with the creation of their organization by setting up events and gathering over 70 individuals to join the club. The club aims to learn more about the environment and also inspire a passion for the conservation of the islands.”

MCS counselor Tobed Smith said: “We are honored to receive this award. It is our role as educators to guide our students. We need to get our students to care about the environment and make an effort to keep our islands clean and preserve them for the generations to come.”

N15 Architects received the Green Business of the Year Award for setting a good example as a good steward by promoting the protection of the island’s resources.

Chris Fryling of N15 Architects said “being green and taking care of the planet is something that we have always put into practice — we have tried to incorporate that in the projects we do.”

View more of this article's accompanying photos in our gallery