Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine joined a group of 25 high school students from around the Marshall Islands to talk about coral reefs and what the RMI and countries of the Pacific should be doing to ensure the health of their marine ecosystems.
The program was the USP-sponsored Coral Reef and Climate Change Simulation, a “roundtable” presentation at Marshall Islands Resort’s Melele Room that wrapped up the two week summer camp. President Heine said the summer science camp was “timely and visionary.”
The students each chose a Pacific island to represent, and sat behind flags and country names on their tables at the program. In addition to the President, numerous instructors, families and friends watched the presentations. The students were from high schools on Jaluit, Ebeye and Majuro.
Each “nation” had four minutes to present their points and one recommendation for consideration by the group.
Among the recommendations from the students:
• Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program establish a scholarship fund to support islanders getting post-graduate degrees in marine resource management and coral reef conservation.
• All Pacific islands adopt the Micronesia Challenge, which aims to have 30 and 20 percent of coastal and land areas, respectively, under effective management by 2020.
• All Pacific islands double the number of local marine protected areas in each nation.
The summer camp was supported by the Global Environment Fund’s Small Grants Program, UNDP, MIMRA and USP.
Read more about this in the July 15, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.