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Micronesia: Tourism Support for Biodiversity Conservation

SETIN was contracted to draft the Project Preparation Grant (PPG) of the “Micronesia: Tourism Support for Biodiversity Conservation” GEF Child Project, with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as the GEF Agency/Implementing Partner.

This Child Project is developed under the GEF funded Blue and Green Islands Integrated Program (BGI IP). This is one of 11 integrated programs formulated under the GEF 8 programmatic directions. The overall program objective of the Integrated Program whose development is led by UNDP is to “Move towards an Equitable, Nature-positive, Carbon neutral and pollution free world”.

The goal of this Child Project is to protect and improve ecosystems and livelihoods in the states of Yap and Kosrae. Potential sites encompass the Gachpar MPA and the Reey MPA, both situated in Yap state; and the Makontowe Conservation Area and the Kupluc Mangrove Reserve in the Kosrae state. The project will implement activities that will create enabling and conducive environment to integrate nature into tourism planning. A key deliverable of the project is creating mechanisms and methodology(ies) that will support investments in establishing and managing PAs.

The project will enable Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) to apply nature-based solutions (NbS) for climate change mitigation and livelihood sustainability. The objective is to reduce the destruction of island forests and restore ecosystems, enhancing community resilience to future climatic impacts. FSM faces systematic challenges, including limited land and water resources, susceptibility to climate change and natural disasters, constrained institutional and technical capacity, and restricted economic opportunities. These challenges are compounded by the country’s geographic isolation and small population, limiting its access to markets and resources.

To achieve its objectives, the project will create an enabling environment for integrating nature into the tourism sector through revised national and state fiscal, investment, and budget policies that support the establishment and effective management of Protected Areas (PAs). This will be accomplished with the involvement of the Department of Finance and Administration building on its System of Environment Economic Accounting (SEEA) initiatives with ecosystem valuations of FSMs PAs and natural capital accounting to fully the value of the PAs and the potential for tourism.

Starting from last week, January 8th, until January 19th, the PPG team will be in the Federated States of Micronesia for the field mission, including first stakeholder’s consultation and project site visits.