More than 40 people have completed the Micronesia Challenge Young Champions internship program since it was launched in 2009. The internship program is generously funded by the Micronesia Conservation Trust. The 2019 – 2020 intake saw five interns representing each of the five Micronesia Challenge jurisdictions, mentored by community conservation leaders. This year in celebration of the 2020 Micronesia Challenge goal, each intern developed short films that highlight the marine and terrestrial conservation efforts and their socio-economic impacts upon people’s livelihoods.
Now ready, these films will be launched over the weeks ahead.
“We’re really excited by the stories being told by our Micronesia Challenge Young Champions. Over the past decade this program has seen our Young Champions support the outreach work of the Micronesia Challenge while building their networks and skills in nature conservation,” said Miss Geraldine Datuin the Micronesia Challenge Coordinator.
“2020 is a huge milestone year for us and we can’t wait to share these films as part of our celebrations.”
In 2006 leaders from Micronesia united, committing to effectively conserve at least 30 percent of the near-shore marine resources and 20 percent of the terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020. In doing so it led to a myriad of benefits for people and their communities including the capacity building of young Micronesians.
As of 2020 the Micronesia Challenge had supported over one-hundred college certificates, degrees and internships for youth and staff due to programs such as the MC Young Champion Internship, Bill Raynor MC Scholarship and Association for Promotion of International Cooperation (APIC)-Sophia University Scholarships. Out of more than one-hundred youth, there were forty-three people that completed the Micronesia Challenge Young Champion Internship.
The 2019-2020 intake of five young people from the Republic of Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and Guam increased their conservation knowledge while helping to preserve natural resources within their home island.
Over the eight-month period the Micronesian Challenge Young Champions helped promote the MC. This included being equipped with the tools to produce the range of short films. These are being launched to a global audience, demonstrating the conservation efforts of the large ocean states of Micronesia, while setting excellent examples to the future generations of their islands.
“We congratulate the Micronesia Challenge for their initiative which has seen a legacy of young Pacific people helping to conserve and protect our natural environment which in turn, protects us,” said Ms Nanette Woonton the Acting Communications and Outreach Adviser of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
“This program which gives back to our young people can have a long-lasting legacy, working with the MC Young Champions to produce films is a fantastic idea. We are looking forward to listening to, and watching their conservation stories told by them, through their eyes.”
The five Micronesia Challenge Young Champion Interns are Ms Shuri Chibana from Palau who interned at the Micronesia Challenge Regional Office; Mr Berlando Hadley from Pohnpei State, Federated States of Micronesia was posted with the Conservation Society of Pohnpei and Micronesia Productions; Mr David Aiseia from the Republic of Marshall Islands interned at the Marshall Islands Marine Resource Authority; Mr William Naden II from Guam undertook his internship at the University of Guam Sea Grant Program; and Ms Pheona David from the Northern Mariana Islands interned at the Office of Planning and Development, CNMI Office of the Governor.
Their internships began on 1 December, 2019 and ended on 31 August, 2020. Their films will be launched over a weekly basis as of 30 October 2020. To keep updated with the launch, please follow the Micronesia Challenge Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/OneMicronesia and the Micronesia Challenge website http://www.micronesiachallenge.org/.
For more information on the Micronesia Challenge Young Championship Program please see the Micronesia Conservation Trust's website at http://www.ourmicronesia.org.
For more information on the Micronesia Challenge please email Ms Geraldine Datuin the Micronesia Challenge Coordinator at [email protected]
Photo: Federated States of Micronesia by D.McFadzien