The Pohnpei State Protected Area Network (PAN) Design Workshop was held in Pohnpei on June 18th-20th, 2014 as the first step in the process of using spatial planning to redesign Pohnpei’s PAN to better meet the goals of Pohnpei state and incorporate resiliency. Jointly hosted by The Nature Conservancy, the Conservation Society of Pohnpei and Pohnpei State Governor John Ehsa, participants included staff from local and regional NGOs, Pohnpei State government agencies and the leaders of Pohnpei State’s Marine Advisory Council (MAC). The purpose of this workshop was to:
- Agree on the goals of Pohnpei’s PAN
- Understand the principles of protected area design
- Gather data and knowledge from community leaders to help assess and make recommendations on how to redesign Pohnpei’s PAN.
Important topics discussed among the meeting participants included ways that the process for selecting PAN sites could be improved and how not only science but “user knowledge” could be incorporated into the process. Members of the MAC are traditional community leaders and extremely knowledgeable fishermen. One of the goals of this workshop was to see of their knowledge, if shared, could be incorporated into MPA design. For example, knowledge of fish movement patterns is one component needed to ensure MPAs are the right size to protect target fish species. MAC members knew the movements of several of these fish species, but were interested to learn how this knowledge could improve MPA design. When they saw clearly how this information helped to better design resilient MPA’s, it became evident that they needed to share their local knowledge so that Pohnpei’s PAN could be redesigned to be more effective.
Once this information is collected and after some initial analysis, visits will be made to municipal governments and communities to conduct outreach on resilient PAN design and to obtain feedback on the first round of PAN design options.
For more information contact: Micronesia Mapping Ocean Wealth Team