Ngarchelong State leaders came together last week to renew their partnership with OneReef Micronesia. This will be the fourth consecutive administration to renew its commitment to the partnership, which began with former Governor Browny Salvador. The last community partnership agreement expired in October of last year.
The partnership permits a mutual platform for both Parties to work together to help realize Ngarchelong’s social, cultural, and ecological resilience. The agreement provides a nudge fund to support existing initiatives and commits to fundraising to aid existing management priorities for their protected areas. This year the partnership will also focus on reinforcing traditional stewardship through activities led by the state’s cheldebechel or community-based organizations.
Major plans for this year include the deployment of a 42-foot catamaran that will serve as a floating ranger station in the Northern Reef. Additionally, the state’s DCLE will continue testing the use of surveillance drones to help reduce costs of patrolling. OneReef’s Surveillance and Compliance Specialist, Charley Patris, will be working closely with the young ranger team to assess and help strengthen their operations.
Other planned activities this year include community-led underwater imaging and fish surveys to inform decision-making at the community and state level. Governor Dwight Ngiraibai stated (translated), “We are grateful for this partnership with OneReef. These types of partnerships are important to state governments and communities because they help us achieve our priorities during a time of severe budget constraints, shortage of human resources, and increasing socio-economic hardships felt by our communities.”