GUAM - Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Areas, Tony Babauta
signed a $155,000 Coral Reef Initiative grant today, which supports
the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT).
The MCT will use this funding to improve its overall coordination
efforts and technical support for the conservation of island natural
resources. This is part of a larger initiative to strengthen the
Micronesia Challenge in Guam, the Marshall Islands, Federated States
of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, and the Commonwealth of the Northern
Assistant Secretary Babauta said, "Collectively, the MCT and PIMPAC
develop strong and direct ties with local resource management agencies
within the Pacific to increase management effectiveness by providing
access to regional expertise. They offer innovative ways for helping
to build local capacity through learning exchanges and partnerships
with local management to better conserve our coral reefs while
protecting the survival of Pacific traditions and cultures".
Babauta added the significance of protecting the coral reef
ecosystems saying, "we must develop a new understanding of the
environment and the continuing relationship of the indigenous people
to their land. We do so by strengthening community-based protected
areas and encouraging the creation of community-based eco tourism".