Kolonia, Pohnpei: April 12, 2024 – Governor Stevenson A. Joseph convened two pivotal meetings concerning the World Bank-funded Pacific Regional Oceanscape Program (PROPER), marking significant strides in Pohnpei’s sustainable development initiatives.

In the first meeting, held with key stakeholders on April 8, 2024, Governor Joseph engaged with EPA Executive Officer Francisco Celestine, Acting Director of the Department of Resources and Development Eugene Eperiam, and Acting Administrator of the Office of Fisheries and Aquaculture Clay Hedson. During this session, two projects within the PROPER framework were presented to Governor Joseph.

The first project outlined focused on a proposed marina endeavor at Dekehtik Lidakika area, alongside a waste oil program. Both projects received favorable reception from Governor Joseph, who expressed keen interest in further details regarding the marina project.

In a subsequent meeting on April 12, 2024, Governor Joseph welcomed Mr. Okean Ehmes, Project Manager at FSM NORMA, for a comprehensive presentation. Mr. Ehmes explained the regional initiative aimed at bolstering collaboration and national capacity for oceanic and coastal fisheries management across participating nations, including the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Tonga, Kiribati, Samoa, Tuvalu, and Solomons.

Governor Joseph was informed that the project, currently in the appraisal and project concept note completion stage, carries a total funding ceiling of $56 million, with $10.6 million earmarked for the Pohnpei Marina project. The proposed marina location at the causeway Lidakika area was highlighted, emphasizing the imperative of meticulous land designation and proper documentation to avert potential project delays.

Expressing gratitude for the presentation, Governor Joseph articulated his concerns regarding land issues and proposed projects in the same vicinity, underscoring the necessity of seamless coordination to prevent conflicts and ensure expeditious project execution. Governor Joseph reiterated the importance of the marina project in bolstering coastal fisheries and supporting local fishermen, aligning with ongoing developmental efforts such as the construction of the public market at Dekehtik.

Looking ahead, Governor Joseph was told by Mr. Ehmes of the formation of a collaborative working group with relevant stakeholders to finalize terms of references and preliminary designs in consultation with state and national authorities, marking the next crucial step towards realizing the PROPER objectives in Pohnpei.



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