Friday, January 29, 2016

President Christian Receives the New Australian Ambassador

 25 January 2016, Palikir, Pohnpei – H.E. Peter M. Christian, President of the Federated States of Micronesia, received the Letter of Credence from newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Australia to the FSM, Mr. George Andrew Fraser on Monday afternoon at the President’s Conference room.

(L-R: Vice President George, President Christian and Ambassador Fraser)
In welcoming the newly appointed Ambassador, President Christian opened dialogue by stating his congratulatory remarks for the accreditation of Ambassador Fraser and expressed appreciation towards Australia for being a strong supporter of the FSM. The President indicated that the FSM stands ready to engage in elements both at the bilateral and regional level, primarily for FSM to reciprocate its friendly ties by establishing its first office in Australia.

Within the framework of strengthening development and nation-building efforts, both sides exchanged views that would ensure the bilateral relationship to strengthen between the two governments.  President Christian, also indicating that the continued assistance from Australia would be measured by FSM’s national development plan, also noted that stimulating economic growth in the FSM is one of the most important issues on the Nation’s agenda.

President Christian reiterated his appreciation towards Australia and wished Ambassador Fraser success in his new post.

Accompanying President Christian were, Vice President Yosiwo George, Secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs; Lorin Robert, Secretary of Department of Justice; Joses Gallen, Chief of Staff Leo Falcam Jr., and staff.

FSM Integrated Agriculture Census Pilot Testing Training held at the former Pohnpei Agriculture and Trade School Campus in Madolenihmw, Pohnpei.

The Pilot Testing Training for the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Integrated Agriculture Census Project officially opened on Monday morning, January 18, 2016, at the former Pohnpei Agriculture and Trade School (PATS) Campus in Madolenihmw, Pohnpei. 

The integrated agriculture census project is a nation-wide effort to enumerate household activities in agriculture, forestry, livestock and fisheries. It will provide a much-needed statistical profile of the country in these sectors and enable the assessment of FSM’s capacity in food security.  The census is the first of its kind; a multi-sector cooperative effort which will create an opportunity to empower our natural resource management and statistics agencies in evidence-based policy management and development.

During the five-day training, the State Trainers will be coached on team management elements of this project, review the census questionnaire, practice in mock exercises and then field test the questionnaires in the pilot exercise.
This Training was facilitated by the FSM Department of Resources (FSMR&D) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Services Agency (USDA-NRCS). The twenty-six training participants were from – Chuuk Department of Agriculture, Chuuk Marine Resources Department, Kosrae Department of Resources and Economic Affairs, Kosrae Island Resource Management Authority, Pohnpei Office of Economic Affairs’ Division of Agriculture, Pohnpei Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry, College of Micronesia – FSM’s Pohnpei Cooperative Extension Services, Yap Department of Resources and Development’s Divisions of Agriculture and Forestry and Marine Resources, and National Statistics’ Chuuk, Kosrae and Pohnpei Field Offices.

The Training was opened by Mr. Mathew Chigiyal, Statistics Assistant Secretary, on behalf of the Department Secretary Marion Henry and welcomed by Ms. Alissa Takesy, Resource Management and Development Division, where they paid their highest respect to the land, traditional leadership, church leaders and communities in Madolenihmw for hosting this nation-wide training endeavor.

 “This training is a milestone for our Agriculture Policy and ‘a dream come true’ for those of us who have been in this work (agriculture) for years” explained Mr. Adelino Lorens, Chief of Pohnpei State Agriculture Division.  “This census will help us to take stock of our natural resources, guide us in developing them, and put them on reserve for traditional use as we are experiencing in this sakau (kava) ceremony hosted by our Pohnpei State hosts” said Assistant Secretary Chigiyal at the closing reception.

Ms. Marlyter Silbanuz, FSMR&D Agriculture Program Manager, and Ms. Brihmer Johnson, FSMR&D Statistician, concluded the training with each State training team selecting their pilot testing enumeration area, scheduling their respective field exercises and providing feedback to the training facilitators to finalize the census questionnaire and progress towards the census enumeration schedule in July 2016.  On behalf of the Department and training facilitators, Ms. Takesy gave the closing statement and expressed her sincerest appreciation to the Madolenihmw local community members of Nanwei, Temwen, Leihak,  Tamworohi, Keprohi, Pohnauleng, Mand, and Pohnmweli  for volunteering their time in taking part in the pilot testing.

For details, please contact the Department of Resources and Development, by email: or telephone: +691 320-2620/2646/5133.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

President Christian visits Mwoakilloa and Pingelap Atolls

As part of his commitment to engage and dialogue with the FSM people, President Peter M. Christian visited the Eastern Islands of Mwoakilloa and Pingelap from January 12-15, 2016. Accompanying President Christian were Pohnpei State Senators Maske Jim of Mwoakilloa, Daniel Isaac of Pingelap, and Cindylina Lekka of Nukuoro. The timely visits took place immediately following those Municipalities’ recent inaugurations of their new Governments.  

On both Mwoakilloa and Pingelap Atolls, President Christian first engaged in open forums with residents, followed by formal meetings with Municipal officials.   President Christian and his entourage also conducted site visits to the airstrips and the elementary school facilities on these Atolls. 

Common to these public facilities in both locations was the need for some repair and improvement work to ensure the safety of travelling visitors, citizens, and school students. President Christian assured municipal officials of both Atolls that he will do all he can to assist in these efforts; he also urged officials that as a first step, it would be appropriate that these requests for improvements are forwarded to the Governor of Pohnpei State and the Pohnpei State Legislature.

Since his election to the Presidency, President Christian has completed State visits to all the FSM States, as well as visits to numerous outer islands of the Federation.  In the coming months, he plans to continue his outreach activities throughout the Nation’s other outer island communities.  

Monday, January 18, 2016

Mr. John Fritz takes Oath of Office as FSM Ambassador to Japan

(President Christian swears in Mr. John Fritz as FSM Ambassador to Japan. Holding the Bible is Ambassador Fritz first cousin Iolani Irons. Looking on is Vice President Yosiwo George)

15 January, 2016, Palikir, Pohnpei  – The Honorable John Fritz was officially sworn in as the FSM Ambassador Plenipotentiary to Japan by His Excellency President Peter Christian on Friday afternoon at the President’s Conference room.

Emphasizing the significance of the ceremony, the Oath of Office administered by President Christian took place less than two months after the FSM 19th Congress re-confirmed Mr. John Fritz appointment to the post in November 2015.  Ambassador Fritz served as the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) in Tokyo prior to his first Japan Ambassadorial posting in 2008; he served as the Ambassador to Japan during the FSM’s previous administration, from 2008 – 2015.

In the presence of President Christian, Vice President George, Senior staff, Secretaries, family, and the FSM Honorary Consul in Fukuoka, Japan, Ambassador Fritz expressed his gratitude to President Christian and the Leadership for the confidence in him to continue to serve as the FSM’s Senior diplomat and representative to Japan.  He also assured the President of his commitment to perform his diplomatic duties to the best of his abilities, emphasizing the need to represent the Nation’s interests, and further strengthen the close ties that already exist between the people of Japan, and the two governments.

Also present at the brief ceremony were Vice President Yosiwo George, Secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs; Lorin Robert, Secretary of Department of Justice; Mr. Joses Gallen and other senior staff of the National Government.

Future Waste Management Priorities agreed upon at the final Meeting of the J-PRISM Project for FSM

Palikir, Pohnpei -The final National Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) Meeting, organized by the Office of Environment and Emergency Management (OEEM) in collaboration with the Japan Promotion of Regional Initiative on Solid Waste Management(J-PRISM), was held on December 17, 2015 at FSM OEEM Conference Room in Palikir, Pohnpei. 
5th National JCC meeting participants
The meeting brought together representatives from the State Environmental Protection Agencies/KIRMA, Departments of Public Works and Transportation and Infrastructure, National Government Department of Transportation, Communication, and Infrastructure, Office of Development Assistance, Pohnpei Waste  Management Services, Trash Kings, OEEM, JICA, and Embassy of Japan.  
Since this was the final meeting and the end of the first phase of the project, participants discussed and exchanged ideas on the remaining activities of the project, and  proposed priority actions for Solid Waste Management for the FSM states.
 Some of the priority actions included:
  1. updating Coin Deposit Legislations (CDLs) to include more recyclable products than just aluminum cans.  For example, in the case of Kosrae State  recycling,  batteries, plastic bottles, glass bottles have been included
  2. Improving sharing of information through a newsletter and/or websites
  3. Strengthening communication network among the states and OEEM
  4. Including waste management agenda through sessions during Environment Conferences and EPA Directors Meetings
  5. Sharing of State Action Plans to OEEM for policy making purposes and coordination on addressing gaps
  6. Implementing segregation of waste at the household level
  7. Implementing the Leachate Monitoring Guidelines

During the discussions, it was evident that waste management is still a priority in the FSM and the participants reaffirmed their commitment to ensure the implementation of  their State Solid Waste Management Action Plans.
The management of waste collection and operations of disposal systems, landfill development, and improved dumpsites are some of the project activities that have progressed under the 5-year J-PRISM Project.  J-PRISM Project is funded by the Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA) and is partnered with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Vice President George Attends Memorial Service for CNMI Late Governor Inos

On January 11, 2016, FSM Vice President Yosiwo George arrived on Saipan to attend the state funeral for the late Governor Eulogio Songao Inos of Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).
Vice President George was among many heads of state and government officials who attended the memorial tribute on January 12, 2016 at the Borja Funeral Home.  On behalf of President Peter Christian, and the Government and the people of FSM, Vice President George conveyed sympathy to the family of the late Governor and the people of CNMI for the unfortunate passing of Governor Inos.
Governor Inos held office from 2013-2015 and served as Lieutenant Governor of CNMI from 2009-2013 before he assumed office as Governor. Gov. Eloy S. Inos passed away at the age of 66, on Tuesday December 29, 2015, following recovery from open heart surgery in Seattle, Washington.

Accompanying Vice President George was the FSM Guam Consul General, Mr. Robert Ruecho. 

New NORMA Board Officers

On December 19, 2015 in Guam, the National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) Board of Directors elected Mr. Churchill Edward as Chairman of the Board and Mr. Roger Arnold as Vice-Chair. Directors include Mr. Peter Garamfel from Yap, Simpson Abraham from Kosrae and Ms. Yuko Nakasone from Pohnpei.  Mr. Edward was a former Lt. Governor of Pohnpei State and a very active church leader and holds various other positions on Boards in Pohnpei including Chairman of the Board of Regents for College of Micronesia-FSM.

With the new Board organized and officers elected, the Authority is now ready to conduct its business of managing the FSM tuna resources and generating the economic benefits from those who seek to fish in the FSM EEZ.

In his letter to the President and Speaker of FSM Congress, Mr. Edward assured the President and Speaker and members of Congress that he and the new Board are prepared to work hard and have greater oversight of the activities of NORMA in the coming years.

Ground-Breaking Ceremony for School Facility at NMHS

The FSM Project Management Unit (PMU) held a formal groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday morning in Kitti, at the Nanpei Memorial High School (NMHS).  The school building will serve as a positive atmosphere for students and teachers to associate in a improved physical environment.

As recognized that good facilities affect the quality of education in schools, on behalf of President Peter M. Christian, the Honorable Mr. Dohsis Halbert, represented the FSM National Government and spoke along with his counterparts at the celebration.

As these efforts continue to progress, the new structure will contain spacious classrooms, that would advance a service fit for purpose. Distinguished guests participating in the ceremony were various representatives from the National, State, municipal governments, diplomatic corps, church and local community.  

The project is underway by family run company, the Adams Brothers Corporation that was contracted to construct the school facility, beginning November 2015.  The completion date for this 13-month project is scheduled for December 2016