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USAID helps FSM cope with climate change and enhance livelihood

KOLONIA, Pohnpei (U.S. Embassy) — The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Pacific American Climate Fund has awarded grants to two organizations in the Federated States of Micronesia to enhance the resilience of the island communities against the impact of climate change and improve their livelihoods. Marine and Environmental Research Institute of Pohnpei or MERIP will receive $343,590 for its initiative,

Climate Change Adaptation and Income Diversification in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, to boost the income-earning opportunities for Pohnpei Island’s 35,000 inhabitants, and the College of Micronesia-FSM, will receive $556,264 for its Climate Resilient Adoption and Mainstreaming project to educate community members about climate-resilient agricultural methods on the Island of Yap.

From left, Maurice Knight, Regional Office Director, USAID/Pacific Islands; Simon Ellis from MERIP; Dr. Murukesan Krishnapillai from COM-FSM; Hugues Ogier, Deputy Chief of Mission U.S. Embassy Kolonia.  Simon Ellis and Dr. Murukesan Krishnapillai display their certificates of award.  U.S. Embassy photoFrom left, Maurice Knight, Regional Office Director, USAID/Pacific Islands; Simon Ellis from MERIP; Dr. Murukesan Krishnapillai from COM-FSM; Hugues Ogier, Deputy Chief of Mission U.S. Embassy Kolonia. Simon Ellis and Dr. Murukesan Krishnapillai display their certificates of award. U.S. Embassy photo

Communities in the FSM are among the most environmentally vulnerable groups in the Pacific Islands, suffering from flooding, loss of biodiversity and soil degradation. The new projects aim to help residents better manage risks related to changing weather patterns and adopt strategies to preserve their environment and improve income opportunities.

At the launch event held in Pohnpei on March 25, 2015, the chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy, Hugues Ogier, said, “We work hand in hand to respond to the threat of climate change and find solutions to best cope with it. It is a pleasure to celebrate with you today this assistance provided by the American people to the people of Micronesia.”

With the USAID support, the first grantee, MERIP, a humanitarian, non-profit organization, will work to confront the decreasing fish habitat and coral cover on the coast of Pohnpei by supporting small-scale aquaculture ventures, including the farming of giant clams, sponges and coral. In addition, it will train farmers on growing and marketing aquaculture products to reduce their dependency on the diminishing fish stocks and implement four pilot projects to protect shorelines, water quality and coral health.