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Strengthening and Enabling the Micronesia Challenge 2030


Executive Summary from the Approved Project Proposal

Approved by GEF CEO on August 30, 2021. Project start date April 1, 2022.

This Global Environment Facility (GEF) International Waters (IW) project “Strengthening and enabling the 2030 Micronesia Challenge” strengthens regional- and national-level marine resource management in the Micronesian Large Ocean States of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and the Republic of Palau (Palau) with indirect benefits to the U.S. Territory of Guam and the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands . In partnership with the Micronesia Challenge Regional Office (MCRO), the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT), the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA), FSM’s Department of Resources & Development (R&D). Palau’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment & Tourism, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions (COS), the project partnership will support strengthening of national marine resource management planning aligned with Micronesia Challenge 2020 goals  and support planning for the Micronesia Challenge 2030 (see Appendix J). 

The three-year GEF IW project proposes a framework approach  that facilitates technical dialogues through national working groups to develop policy options for strengthened management of and optimized regional collaborations for priority marine resource issues. The project will build off key baseline activities, including the recent support for the Micronesia Challenge 2030 conservation goals by the Micronesia Island Forum (MIF), national strengthening of Protected Area Network (PAN) legislation, and a recent collaborative working group model facilitated by COS supporting implementation of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS). The project will leverage existing partnerships, momentum, and lessons learned to engage all three Micronesia governments and will build coordination and cooperation for the next phase of the Micronesia Challenge—leveraging experience sharing and capacity building to ensure success for future shared regional and national resource management goals.

The project is designed with three components aimed at national and regional support, combined with knowledge management and monitoring and evaluation. The first project component will achieve national-level goals through national working group meetings that will develop science-based recommendations to support advancing integrated management of marine resources aligned under Micronesia Challenge 2020 and 2030 goals. The second project component aims to strengthen the Micronesia Challenge Regional Office (MCRO) through capacity building and significantly raising local, regional, and global awareness to of the Micronesia Challenge, and the coordination role of MCRO by taking advantage of major ocean-related events. A third project component aims to capture the wealth of knowledge generated from the Micronesia Challenge over the past decade, to disseminate nationally, regionally, and also internationally through IW:LEARN.

This GEF IW project also leverages recent intergovernmental momentum, including the 2016 Call to Action by the three Micronesia presidents at the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium Leaders’ Summit, the 2017 Pacific Judicial Council Environmental Law and Science Conference, and a 2018 Association of Pacific Island Legislatures resolution. Collectively these recent actions assist progress towards important 2020 milestones, including the Sustainable Development Goals, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Aichi Targets, and the Micronesia Challenge. The project also aims to support country needs at key ocean events, including the Our Oceans Conference, United Nations Ocean Conference, and the CBD Conference of Parties 15 (to be confirmed based on national policies and post-pandemic realities).

For more information about the project's Stakeholder Engagement Plan, please download the document here > 

For additional information, including the CEO Endorsement / Approval resources, please visit the GEF Project Summary webpage >


Page updated March 3, 2022