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FSM’s Panuelo establishes  national task force for ‘Blue Prosperity Micronesia’

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PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — On Aug. 21, 2020, David W. Panuelo, president of the Federated States of Micronesia, signed a presidential order establishing a national task force for guiding all activities related to the planning and implementation of the Blue Prosperity Micronesia program.

This task force, which includes representatives from the national and state governments, will help guide the other founding members of Blue Prosperity Micronesia and partner organizations to advance the program goals in a manner that represents the needs and desires of the FSM’s citizens.

 Goals include the development of strategies for sustainable economic wellbeing and resilience, identification of opportunities to improve fisheries management, and advancing ocean protection to build upon the FSM’s already impressive efforts.

“Despite the challenges presented to our nation by the Covid-19 pandemic,” President Panuelo said in a statement, “the FSM national government and the Panuelo-George administration remain committed to protecting our natural environment. The Blue Prosperity Micronesia Task Force shall help to ensure that these commitments bear fruit, and that this Paradise in Our Backyards is as pristine and productive for generations tomorrow as it is today.”

Over the next five years, Blue Prosperity Micronesia’s work will include the development of a Marine Spatial Plan and a Blue Economy Plan, the conducting of scientific assessments, ocean use and stakeholder consultations, and the creation of proposed legislation for the FSM Congress’ review. This work will build upon existing FSM conservation and sustainable development commitments and goals to effectively manage at least 30% of the nation’s waters and plan for a prosperous future.

The task force will be comprised by high-level officials from several departments, such as the Department of Resources & Development; the Department of Environment, Climate Change, and Emergency Management; the Department of Foreign Affairs; the Department of Finance & Administration; the Department of Justice; the Office of National Archives, Culture and Historic Preservation; and the National Oceanic Resource Management Authority. It will also include a representative from each of the FSM states, selected by its governor. The task force will have its first convening session later this month, one year from the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the government of the FSM, the Waitt Institute, Micronesia Conservation Trust, and National Geographic Pristine Seas, which formally launched the program.

This task force will also be supported by the Blue Prosperity Micronesia coordinator, a newly created position which will serve as the on-the-ground staff in support of strategic planning and logistical implementation to help advance sustainable ocean efforts in the FSM. The coordinator is set to begin his/her duties on Oct. 1, 2020.

The presidential order on the establishment of the Blue Prosperity Micronesia Task Force may be seen here:  https://gov.fm/files/Presidential%20Orders/PRESIDENTIAL_ORDER_-

_TF_for_the_BP_Micronesia_1.pdf

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