IOM in the North Pacific at a Glance
IOM established its first office in the region in Majuro in May 2009. The opening of the sub-regional Head Office in Pohnpei followed a few months later. The FSM has been a member state since December 2011 and the RMI acceded to membership on 26 November, 2013.
PRESS BRIEFING NOTE
For immediate release – 4/22/2014
Trees, plants, & renewable energy!
Earth Day 2014 celebrated in the Federated States of Micronesia & the Republic of the Marshall Islands with education for climate change adaptation
In honor of the 2014 Earth Day theme: Green Cities, IOM trainers challenged students to a renewable energy contest. Each class was invited to construct a working solar powered plane, boat, or car - in 25 minutes or less. Leinard Emil, an 8th grade student at ESDM Elementary School in Pohnpei, FSM shared, “I learned to construct things that do not need fossil fuels and how to build a solar powered car.” Empowering youth to prepare and adapt to climate change impacts is an important part of IOM’s work in the North Pacific region. Experimenting with solar photovoltaic power systems is an excellent way to start innovating.
In the Marshall Islands, on Saturday 19 April, 200 young people in Ebeye attended an “Earth Day” themed movie night, at this event IOM trainers raised awareness for the Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction, & Education (CADRE) program. Dialogue at the event focused on global deforestation and the role of trees and other plants in reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Meeting the challenge of climate change impacts will require great innovation, effort, and planning. Public education and awareness of effective climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk management (DRM) from local to national level is a key priority of the RMI government (RMI JNAP CCA & DRM, 2014-2018). The FSM has also identified education on climate change as a critical first step toward adaptation. The IOM CADRE program includes 50 schools and communities in the FSM & RMI.
The small island developing states of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) are directly facing the challenges of climate change. The Marshall Islands is uniquely vulnerable - comprised of more than 1,000 low-lying islands and coral atolls. The highest point in the country is 10 meters above sea level. Few places in the world have experienced such rapid population growth as Ebeye in the Marshall Islands. From 1950 – 2000, the population of Ebeye grew from less than 100 people to approximately 10,000. The current population is about 15,000 people.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report – climate change is caused by human activities such as: the burning of fossil fuels, clearing of forests, and agricultural practices that lead to increased Green House Gas (GHG) concentration in the atmosphere.
Youth form a large demographic with approximately 50% of the population in both the FSM & RMI under the age of 18. Meeting the challenge of climate change impacts will require great innovation, effort, and coordination. Public education and awareness of effective climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk management (DRM) from local to national level is a key priority.
- Kate McDermott, Program Officer (Ed), IOM Micronesia
IOM Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
Press Inquiries Contact Information:
Suite 2G Pohn Umpomp Building , Pohn Umpomp Place, Nett Municipality, Pohnpei
PO Box K2644 Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM 96941