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Advancing science to management feedback loops to prioritize stressors on coral reef ecosystem in support of the Micronesia Challenge in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

01 Oct 2020 to Aug 31, 2021

The Conservation Society of Pohnpei, once again, in close partnership with Pohnpei State Government, have successfully completed another round of coral reef monitoring for Pohnpei. In 2019, CSP partnered with PacIOOS in deploying a water quality sensor and a rain gauge data reader to support our ongoing sedimentation project. However, due to equipment malfunctions, the team has not been retrieving any data. Rain gauge was recalibrated and deployed at Nahna laud where data will be obtained in November 2021.

Sediment data collection for the duration of the project has been completed with data entered and submitted to the University of Guam (UOG) – Marine Lab further analysis. Since both water sensor and rain gauge data are still in initial baseline phase, sediment data will be stored awaiting analysis and correlations.

Grouper Spawning and Aggregations (SPAGS) monitoring for year 2021 has been completed. SPAGs data has been analyzed and results are showing positive bounce back on two grouper species.

This year, the Coral Reef Monitoring (CRM) team completed only 14 sites out of the 25 total sites selected. This new approach was recommended by Dr. Peter Houk from the UOG to split the 25 sites in half to see the changes of the first selected half to be monitored this year compared to the next collection in the next two years. Same procedure will be applied for the next half to be monitored next year. This process will then be compared to the previous monitoring procedure where the team conducts the monitoring on all 25 sites every two years. This process is applied every five to ten years to evaluate the monitoring protocol to maximize the effectiveness of data collection as well as analysis.

Coral Reef Monitoring Across the FSM: Blue Prosperity Micronesia Pohnpei Expedition

01 Oct 2020 to 31 August 2021

The conservation society of Pohnpei (CSP) wishes to thank all the stakeholders and partners for the support given which enable the Pohnpei monitoring team to continue the round of coral reef monitoring of this year 2022. According to the work plan given, CSP has purchased a 23 footer fiberglass boat and a 40 horse power outboard motor that really help the team in fulfilling the task mentioned in the work plan. CSP and its partners, the office of fisheries and aquaculture (OFA) and the division of natural resource management under the department of resource and development (R&D) has managed to complete all the 25 sites in total around the island during this unpredictable weather from February to May 31, 2022. The data collected from these sites were entered in a data base and was send to the University Guam for analysis.

The team is now waiting for the result to send back so we can present it to the communities and government leaders during the LMMA cross site visit of this year which is schedule on August 26 – 27, 2022. This an event that brings together all the marine protected areas (MPA) communities and government entities local, state and national, non government organizations (NGO) and all partners that are working toward the betterment and sustainability of the island’s natural resources which is serve as the peoples food and income sources. The team is looking forward to working with each and everyone, stakeholders, partners and all to NGO to make this year’s cross site visit or learning exchange a productive one.

On behalf of the team I would like to thank the blue prosperity Micronesia (BPM) project and Micronesia conservation trust (MCT) for allowing us to be part of this amazing project which enable us to continue serving the people of Micronesia and learning more of our environment especially the marine resources. I would also like to thank all the partners Pohnpei state resource and development (R&D), the natural resource management (NRM) and the office of fisheries and aquaculture (OFA) for the support given which help completed the project activities.

Paies Mangrove Habitat Protection and Management

20 July 2020 to 26 February 2021

Paies is one of the forty-two communities in Kitti which holds a population of 553 people and a total of 97 households. Fishermen from Paies are all known as crab catchers in Kitti. They depend highly on crabs as their main source of food and income. They have realized that there is a huge decline in the number of crabs around their area, which will not be enough to provide for themselves and their families.

The Paies project has two main objectives with its corresponding activities. Objectives are: 1. Mangrove Survey/Assessment, and 2. Develop a Mangrove Management Plan and marking an area as a Mangrove Protected Area. Community members have decided that they will work with their partner organizations to requeset equipment and materials to help clean up debris and pollution; such as a chain saw to remove large logs from blocking the mangrove channels. Another request is to procure large trash bags to pick up all the inorganic waste that are polluting their mangroves. Even though the area has not been legally designated as a protected area, the community members have decided to promote awareness of their endeavors. The CSP team is working along with the communities to make sure all these objectives are carried out as plan.

Mobilizing MPA Communities to Increase Adaptive Fisheries Management Capacity in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

01 March, 2021 to 10 July 2021

Since July, 2020, CSP continued its progress towards the activities under the three objectives requested to be implemented.

Under objective 1: Establish effective fishery stock assessment practices to improve coastal resource management at Depehk/Takaiou Community MPA by the end of 2020.

Data poor method had been identified and training was conducted with the data collectors identified from the Depehk/Takiou community. The method was explained in our previous report that collected data will be entered in a local database for analysis. During this reporting period all the data collected has entered, analyzed and a short summary report was developed and interpretations of results will be presented back to the Dehpehk/Takaiou communities.

Under objective 2: Develop site-based fisheries management tools to encourage mutual controls for Depehk/Takaiou by the end of 2020.

The U municipal Council sponsored by their R&D committee will introduce a Council Bill (CB) in early January of 2021 to ban night time spear fishing on the outer reef adjacent to the coastal jurisdictions of U municipality. This is basically covering the outer reefs from Mwahnd channel stretching towards the north east area all the way to the Areu channel. Both bordering areas are segment borders of U and Nett as well as U and Madolenihmw. The data poor survey results will serve as part of the justifications needed to supplement the reasons for banning of the area. The data poor method is designed basically to see what's been fished out of the water compared by its individual species size landed at the market versus its natural lifespan expectancy from juvenile phase to spawning phase before becoming meal for the community. This is why any result from the survey can be held justifiable in the upcoming U resource management decisions. And due to some changes and issues in U municipal counsel, the activities under this objective are yet to be attained. The team met with the U Natural resource coordinator (NRC) and members of the U resource and development (R&D) committee in early July 2021to start discussing ways to push forward the management needs. The team was supposed to meet with the U leadership to start mingling with this important fisheries management but a funeral happened and the meeting was postponed. The U leadership will set another date for this meeting and inform the team.

Under objective 3: Integrate fisheries management needs (determined from Objective 1) with State level decision-making to influence the establishment of coastal resource management policies by end of 2020.

The activities under this objective will be determined based on the outcomes of objective one and two. If what was explained under objective one and two becomes successful at the municipal level, then further steps can be taken to replicate the process at the state level.

Mobilizing the MPA Communities of Pohnpei to be Resilient to Climate Change through the Community Engagement in Ecosystem–Based Adaptation Community Outreach Awareness and Protected Areas Enforcement

01 May 2019 to 31 December 2020

In this reporting period, CSP managed to cover some basis on the project objectives. Conducting of socio-economic monitoring using SEM-Pasifika protocol was completed at Palikir and Sapwitik Marine Protected Areas (MPA) communities. Household surveys completed, data collected, entered, and reviewed by technical team for quality. Due to minor corrections on the collected data, analysis has been delayed.

With the assistance of OneReef Micronesia and Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Area Community (PIMPAC) Network, Pohnpei have established an ad hoc enforcement alliance consisting of enforcement officers from Pohnpei state’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, Municipal Police and selected CCOs representing MPA communities. The enforcement alliance has conducted Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) trainings at U, Sokehs, Ant and Pakin. The training mainly focuses on enforcement and surveillance operation, detailing and distinguishing the roles of a deputized officer versus non-deputized officer. They also demonstrated several scenarios to build capacity at all levels. In order for an effective Joint Enforcement Agreement (JEA) between state, municipal and CCOs, understanding the SOP is critical. At this reporting period, JEA project with the ad hoc alliance is on hold awaiting municipal police to update JEA with Department of Public Safety (DPS).

MPA communities have been conducting their own biophysical monitoring (fish census and coral identification) to determine effectiveness of their MPA management. This project is targeting the MPA communities of Sapwitik and Nanwap. Pakin and Palikir MPAs are also participating in biophysical monitoring independent of this project. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, CSP could only focus on 2 communities for this project. Baseline date already exists for Nanwap and they are ready to conduct their annual monitoring on April 2021. Sapwitik is still finalizing their decision as they are short on manpower. CSP utilizes basic analysis for community data given the minimal targeted species used as indicators to management effectiveness. Reporting of key findings from the April monitoring will be conducted in May 2021.

Mobilizing the MPA Communities of Pohnpei to be Resilient to Climate Change Through Community Engagement in Ecosystem-based Adaptation, Community Outreach/Awareness and Protected Areas Enforcement

01 May 2019 to 30 June 2020

During the reporting period, CSP was able to complete the contracting process through this grant request. With this project, CSP aims to work directly with local governments, partner agencies and community partners in getting all hands on deck in working in the communities to identify climate change impacts in the communities and bring the attention to the overall Pohnpei community.

The MPA Network Executive Committee Council has successfully completed the 16th annual Cross Site Learning Exchange at Nihco Marine Park hosted by the Palikir MPA Community. The Palikir MPA Community consists of four communities that are located on the coastlines of Sokehs Municipality. These four communities are Palikir Community, Lowetik Community, Oumoar Community and Peidie Community. These four Communities are headed by village chiefs or Soumas and all these communities have appointed their Community Conservation Officers (CCOs) to help assist with enforcement and surveillance of Palikir MPA. Attending the 16th Annual Cross Site visit are CCOs of Nan Wap MPA, CCOs of Sapwitik/Lenger MPA, Community Chiefs of Takaieu (Kehlahk Takaiou and Kehlahk Takaieniap) and their CCOs, CCOs of Nahtik MPA, community members of the proposed Peniou MPA, Community Chiefs of Palikir (Sihpw en Lowetik and Souliken Oumoar) and community members and Community Chief of Pakin (Sounihrek Pakin) and Pakin CCOs. Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has sponsored several community representatives from Chuuk, Kosrae and Yap to observe and learn from this year’s cross site visit.

The project team has identified two Socio-Economic mentors to carry the Sem-Pasifika Survey training to e conducted in all the MPA Communities of Pohnpei. These two Mentors are Angel Jonathan and Winfred Mudong. Both mentors are based here in Pohnpei so there would be no need to get assistant from abroad.

Marine Projects

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