Kolonia, Pohnpei: April 12, 2024 – Governor Stevenson A. Joseph convened a crucial meeting to address the pressing challenges facing Pohnpei’s environmental conservation efforts. Joined by key stakeholders from the State Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), Municipal Governments, community leaders, and NGO partners, Governor Joseph emphasized the urgent need for strengthened collaboration to protect the island’s precious natural resources.

For over a decade, the State DFW has been working hand-in-hand with the Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP) and OneReef Micronesia to enhance enforcement effectiveness and community stewardship within the Pohnpei Protected Areas Network. However, faced with increasing threats such as overfishing and upland forest degradation due to sakau farming practices, a united effort to effectively face these threats is needed.

During the meeting, Governor Joseph highlighted the shared responsibility of safeguarding Pohnpei’s environment. “This must be a shared responsibility for Pohnpei State, Municipal Governments, community leaders, and NGO partners. This is our responsibility together, “he stated to those present including the Acting Chief of DFW Ioanis, Chiefs of Municipal Police Departments and local police officers, Pohnpei Community Conservation Officers Networks representatives: Nahlaimw Sokehs, Kuloap Madolenihmw, Soumas Lepen Madau en Metipw and NGO partners CSP and OneReef. Governor Joseph supported the establishment of a more formalized coordination mechanism, known as the Enforcement Reserve Program, to strengthen joint law enforcement agreements and mobilize resources for capacity training. The Governor urged all stakeholders to work together towards this common goal.

Acknowledging the importance of partnership, Governor Joseph expressed gratitude to NGO partners such as the Conservation Society of Pohnpei and OneReef, as well as other supporting organizations including Micronesia Conservation Trust and The Nature Conservancy. He emphasized the necessity of collective investment to effectively manage Pohnpei’s Protected Areas Network and improve community compliance and enforcement.

The support and commitment of all stakeholders present at the meeting are vital in ensuring the sustainable management of Pohnpei’s natural resources. Governor Joseph concluded by reaffirming his duty to protect Pohnpei’s land and sea, underscoring the significance of collaborative efforts in fulfilling this responsibility.

The support of CSP and OneReef to State DFW also respects and acknowledges the support of Micronesia Conservation Trust, Pacific Islands Marine Protected Areas Community, The Nature Conservancy, USAID Our Fish Our Future initiative, Locally Managed Marine Area and other partners on their important contributions. The work towards effective management of the Protected Areas Network in Pohnpei and Micronesia to improve community compliance and effective enforcement required partnership investments from all partners.


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