In appreciation for past and continued support with conservation officer capacity building by the Guam (U.S.A) Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources (D.A.W.R.); Jose Ise, director of Koror State Department of Conservation and Law Enforcement, Wayne Andrew, Alliance of Palau Conservation Officer (APCO) advisor and Pacific Islands Marine Protected Areas Community (PIMPAC) regional mentor, Surech Hideyos, OneReef Micronesia Coordinator, Sergeant Mark Aguon, Operations Sgt for Guam’s D.A.W.R. and I (Hanna Muegge), OneReef Micronesia fellow from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (CA, USA), presented Manny Duenas, the Deputy Director of Agriculture for Guam, with an intricate storyboard from Koror State Governor Yoshitaka Adachi.
Over the years Guam has helped Palau and other Micronesian jurisdictions progress towards accomplishing the goals set by the Micronesia Challenge. The Micronesia Challenge is a commitment by the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands to effectively conserve at least 20% of the terrestrial resources, and 30% of the near-shore marine resources across Micronesia by 2020.
The storyboard was presented to thank Deputy Director Duenas of Guam Agriculture and the D.A.W.R. for providing conservation officer training in Palau, as well as allowing the team from Guam to visit other Micronesian Islands. As a result of the capacity building efforts, Palau has successfully formed its Alliance of Palau Conservation Officers (A.P.C.O.), which is comprised of conservation officers from the 16 states throughout Palau.
Talking to Deputy Director Duenas confirmed APCO’s hopes for continued support and collaboration between Palau and Guam to work toward successful conservation enforcement across Micronesia and to exchange respective experiences gained along the way.