On November 17th, Soumas en Kousapws (traditional village leaders) made a call to action in partnership with Municipal Government Leaders to strengthen the protection and management of mangrove ecosystems in Pohnpei State, Federated States of Micronesia. The Conservation Society of Pohnpei organized the 2-day forum through funding and technical support from Micronesia Conservation Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and OneReef. The event brought together municipal government leaders, state and national government resource managers, Non-State Actors (NSA), and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to discuss Pohnpei’s current state of mangrove ecosystems and take action to address the present threat to mangroves.
By the end of the 2-day convention, traditional village leaders and municipal government leaders established a formal resolution. The resolution articulates its commitment to work together. It establishes an ad-hoc group that advocates for and advances the protection, conservation, and management of all mangrove ecosystems in Pohnpei State through traditional practices and modern legislation. This initiative reaffirmed traditional systems’ enduring power in applying cooperative resource management principles and practices that have historically sustained Micronesian and other Pacific Island communities. Additionally, it demonstrated traditional stewardship’s relevance and value when combined with modern systems, technologies, and science.