Dmakeiuk Declaration, signed yesterday at the 21st OBF celebration by four governors of the four west coast states of Babeldaob, calls for collaboration and coordination of the four states in the management of their land and marine resources.
Dmakeiukl translates as “Keiukl together,” articulates the desire of the four west coast states, Ngardmau, Ngeremlengui, Ngatpang, and Aimeliik, “to work together to address common socio-economic and environmental challenges faced.”
“I like that we can coordinate our policies and collaborate in the surveillance, monitoring, and enforcement of our resources,” said Governor Francisca Remengesau-Vogt of Ngeremlengui State. “I appreciate the holistic approach where we work together to manage our resources, especially with limited resources,” added Governor Vogt.
The four states’ land and marine resources are adjacent and sometimes overlap with each other. Working together is seen as necessary given the “inadequate human resources and limited funding.”
“An example, let’s say our conservation law says no harvest of mangrove crabs from this month to this month, we coordinate with the other states so that our policies will be the same and we can monitor and enforce our laws together. No one can harvest crab from our state and claim they caught it in Ngatpang because it’s a close in Aimeliik and open season in Ngatpang,” Aimeliik Governor Browny Simer explained.
The declaration states, “Negative impacts of climate change, land-based development and invasive alien species have contributed to a multitude of environmental and socio-economic challenges for the four States composing the “Dmakeiukl” group. Threats such as unnaturally high sedimentation, increasing wildfires, drought, loss of biodiversity and habitat, loss of endemic and endangered species and agriculture degradation pose real and immediate socio-economic threats to the communities of Dmakeiukl States.”
The establishment of the Dmakeiukl Committee is called for in the declaration to “support and facilitate coordination for effective natural resource management between the four states.”
Lastly, it requests The Nature Conservancy to support the collaboration work for the first three years.