President Panuelo Advocates for Aligning Investment Strategies to National Climate Goals
PALIKIR, October 19th 2021 (FSMIS) — His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and in concert with His Excellency Surangel S. Whipps Jr., President of the Republic of Palau, has advocated for the global investment community to consider adopting the FSM’s and Palau’s approach to aligning national investment strategies with national climate goals, and environmental values of low-carbon investments.
The President’s advocacy can be seen here: https://www.ft.com/partnercontent/wilshire/aligning-investment-strategy-to-national-climate-goals.html
Learn more about aligning national investment strategies with national climate goals here: https://www.wilshire.com/research-insights/esg
The FSM has adopted the approach of aligning the Nation’s investment strategy to its national climate goals through Public Law No. 22-06. The law amended the FSM Trust Fund Act to recognize the existential threat of Climate Change, and mandate that the investments made in the Trust Fund follow a sustainable investment policy that integrates the considerations of the risks and opportunities coming from a global transition into a lower carbon economy, such as renewable and clean energy.
Through this national legislation, investment policy for the FSM Trust Fund will avoid investments in companies whose value will be negatively impacted by the global movement into lower carbon alternatives, and will also seek to support investments in companies that lead the global transition into a lower carbon future.
The FSM Trust Fund was originally created to provide a sustainable and permanent sovereign wealth fund that can support the Nation’s financial independence. Given that Climate Change is one of the ultimate challenges of this generation—sufficiently ultimate that, if it’s not addressed, there may not be future generations—the FSM National Government is giving attention and priority to investing in renewable energy, and encourages countries around the world to consider adopting similar approaches.
Public Law 22-06 can be found in full here: https://gov.fm/files/PL_22-06_FSM_TRUST_FUND_docx-min.pdf
First Lady Edwin Opens Three-Day Plastic Repurposing Training Workshop; Successful Outcomes in Pohnpei to Be Replicated in Yap, Chuuk, & Kosrae
PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On April 27th, 2021, Patricia E. Edwin, First Lady of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), opened the Plastic Repurposing Training Workshop. Co-hosted by both the FSM Department of Resources & Development (R&D) and the South Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO), the three-day workshop taught participants on how on to reuse pollutants, such as plastic bottles, in a way that will strengthen and promote Micronesian culture.
The three-day workshop concluded in Pohnpei on April 29th. The Government will soon be expanding it into the States of Yap, Chuuk, and Kosrae.
“Of the more than one thousand jobs lost in the FSM due to the COVID-19 Pandemic,” First Lady Edwin said, “a plurality of these have been in the tourism sector, of whom a disproportionate number have been women. …The Pandemic gives the FSM an opportunity to reflect and plan our [tourism] pathway carefully; this planning is important in the way we see the people of the FSM benefitting from businesses such as accommodation, food, transport, and nature-based activities, including a strong sense of ownership in the protection and conservation of natural resources.”
“Today,” First Lady Edwin continued, “We are demonstrating a practical way of sharing the benefits from tourism widely, across our villages and households, through the introduction of creative skill sets to make jewelry, and decorative household items, which can be sold back to visitors or exported to our diaspora in the United States and other countries.”
Intended to tap into Micronesian creativity, the Plastic Repurposing Training Workshop seeks to alter citizens’ mindset from seeing a plastic bottle on the beach or road as exclusively a pollutant into a potential source of familial revenue.
“We are a resilient people,” First Lady Edwin said. “Together we can contribute to keeping the whole Pacific region a safe and attractive paradise in our backyards by repurposing plastics, one day at a time.”
The FSM Endorses Women’s Economic Empowerment, Gender-responsive Climate Justice, and Tackling Gender-Based Violence at 7th Meeting of Pacific Ministers for Women
PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On May 4th, 2021, the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) attended the 7 th Meeting of Pacific Ministers for Women. Convened as an extension of the 14th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women, and operating under the theme of “Our Ocean, Our Heritage, Our Future—Empowering All Women in the Blue Pacific Continent”, the dialogue focused on women’s economic empowerment, tackling gender-based violence, and ensuring that climate justice is gender-responsive.
Amongst the various agreed-upon outcomes in the area of women’s economic empowerment, there was agreement to establish or improve regulatory frameworks, and the development and enforcement of labor laws, to ensure that informal sector workers and migrant workers have decent paid work and safe workplaces. In the context of the FSM, where labor laws beyond the minimum wage are scarce, this could include the development and promotion of legislation designed to promote fairness in employer and employee relationships, with an emphasis towards ensuring protections for women.
Additionally, there was agreement that Governments will seek to adopt appropriate and accessible proactive measures for women’s education, training, and employment in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, with an emphasis to develop pathways for women trained in these fields to find or create opportunities in critical industries and in leadership roles. In the context of the FSM, the intended effect could be to ensure that the Nation’s girls who look up to Micronesian scientists such as Nicole Yamase—recently known for her descent into the Challenger Deep, the deepest part of the ocean—have the opportunity to explore their interests and further their education, regardless of potential limiting factors such as financial capacity to pay for expensive tuition.
Amongst the various agreed-upon outcomes in the area of gender-based violence, there was agreement that Governments, development partners, and civil society members ought to invest in and strengthen contextualized, evidence-based gender-based violence programs that work with children and young people, to include ensuring that violence prevention is integrated into formal and informal education curricula. In the context of the FSM, where the national curricula is focused on academic outcomes and comprises the minimum standard for the States of Yap, Chuuk,
Pohnpei, and Kosrae to follow or build upon, this could mean a partnership between the National and State Governments, with relevant Non-Government Organizations, to develop and implement this programming at the State level.
Additionally, there was agreement that Governments will seek to establish or scale up support to crisis centers, safe houses, and referral networks for gender-based violence survivors. In the context of the FSM, this could include additional financial and/or programmatic support to both Government-lead initiatives, such as the support centers for victims of human trafficking across the FSM, as well as the Nation’s various women’s groups, such as the Chuuk Women’s Council, which has been successfully innovating support in this area through its Tongen Inepwineu Counseling Center.
Amongst the various agreed-upon outcomes in the area of gender-responsive climate justice, there was agreement that Governments ought to strengthen coordination and capacity-building on gender and human rights, including the integration of gender into Climate Change and natural disaster-related policies. In the context of the FSM, this could mean developing, where necessary and appropriate, tools and procedures for ensuring that Climate Change adaptation, mitigation, and resiliency efforts include means of measuring how such programming impacts men and women, both collectively and separately, with the goal of seeking to ensure that programming is as equitable as practicable.
Additionally, there was agreement that COVID-19 recovery efforts present an opportunity to place women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly, at the heart of Climate Change and crisis responses, by purposefully including these groups in the planning, design, and maintenance of resiliency efforts and infrastructure.
“The Panuelo-George Administration endorses the outcomes from the 7 th Meeting of Pacific Ministers for Women and emphasizes the importance of strengthening women’s economic empowerment, tackling gender-based violence, and ensuring that climate justice is gender- responsive,” His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the FSM, said in a statement. “Just as a rising tide lifts all boats, reaching gender equality in our Nation will improve our whole society.”
Pre-quarantine Process Begins for 42 Stranded FSM Citizens; If May 13th Repatriation Effort Finds Success, Future Repatriation Efforts to be Planned
PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On May 6th, 2021, forty-two (42) citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) entered into a designated pre-quarantine site in Guam. The 42 citizens will spend seven (7) days at the site prior to their repatriation into the Nation on May 13th via a United States Armed Forces asset.
The repatriating citizens include stranded medical patients and their respective attendants, students, and essential personnel. While the repatriating citizens collectively represent all four of the FSM’s States, they all reside in the State of Pohnpei. With some limited exceptions, the citizens scheduled for the May 13th repatriation effort are the same citizens originally scheduled to return on December 5th, 2020.
To enter into pre-quarantine, all repatriating persons, with limited exceptions (e.g. minors, pregnant women), demonstrated possession of documentary evidence showing they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as the completion of a PCR-based COVID-19 test indicating that they are negative for the virus. All repatriating persons will be tested again prior to departure to the FSM.
All individuals the repatriating persons will encounter when they leave the pre-quarantine site to the aircraft, including the aircraft itself, will wear personal protection equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves. All members of the crew for the United States Armed Forces asset have been vaccinated. All members of the crew will also be tested, multiple times, prior to the flight.
Upon return into the FSM, all vaccinated repatriating citizens will undergo an additional seven (7) days of quarantine at the Pohnpei State quarantine facility in Dekehtik; the citizens who arrive unvaccinated will stay a total of fourteen (14) days. All repatriating persons will undergo testing upon arrival into Pohnpei and prior to exiting the quarantine facility.
All repatriating persons will undergo the same COVID-19 testing and security protection regimes. All preventative and protective measures necessary to effectively complete this repatriation effort successfully are being implemented and put into effect both in Guam and in the FSM. Access and visitation to designated pre-quarantine and quarantine facilities is restricted.
The FSM National Government extends its sincere appreciation to the People and Government of the United States of America, with whom the FSM shares an Enduring Partnership, for their offer for the May 13th humanitarian flight.
If the May 13th repatriation effort is successful, which the Government has full trust and confidence that it will be, it will be the first of the FSM’s ongoing initiative to safely return the Nation’s stranded citizens’ home.
The FSM National Government is not able to provide a definitive timeframe for future repatriation efforts in this release. However, the FSM National Government has recently received information that its chartered Air Marshall Islands aircraft may be available towards the end of May or beginning of June, 2021; while this does not set in stone a repatriation effort from the Republic of the Marshall Islands for this timeframe, the Government is pursuing this avenue with urgency and interest.