In support of the Micronesia Challenge, which came about in 2006 to effectively conserve at least 30% of nearshore marine resources and 20% of terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020, the Reimaanlok National Conservation Plan was developed in 2008 to provide a method for community based resource management plans. What makes this plan different from what was done in the past is that it does not attempt to identify specific sites for conservation areas, but rather, develops the principles, process and guidelines for the design, establishment and management of conservation areas that are fully owned, led and endorsed by local communities based on scientific evidence, cultural values and future needs. The plan was enhanced with the Reimaanlok Facilitators Field Guide created in 2012 to help implement the Reimaanlok process on a site by site basis.

Reimaanlok
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Majuro Reimaanlok Activities

Landowners of the two recently established conservation areas in Majuro, Bokanbotin and Ene Kalamur, endorsed their respective management plans as a sign of commitment to their conservation goals thereby completing Step 6 – Sign-Off of the Reimaanlok process. Ene Kalamur has a 5 year management plan (2015-2020) while Bokanbotin has 10 years (2015-2025). These plans include a vision statement with clear management goals, objectives and actions as well as their MPA boundaries and rules.
With a new mayor for Majuro, MIMRA visited MALGov to provide a briefing on Reimaanlok efforts, particularly on Majuro. During the meeting, endorsed resource management plans for Bokanbotin and Ene Kalamur were presented to the mayor and council for support by means of a local ordinance. Additionally, MIMRA presented results from coral monitoring efforts on Majuro including issues such as overfishing, seaweed overgrowth, pollution, and other related issues. Recommendations were shared such as development of ordinances for MPAs in Majuro, fishing seasonality, catch size limits, etc. to promote sustainable fishing practices and for better coral reef protection. Majuro Mayor Ladie Jack gave words of support and requested regular visits by MIMRA regarding updates on current projects and opportunities for collaboration.
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Lae & Ujae Reimaanlok Activities

Reimaanlok activities for Lae and Ujae continued in the summer of 2016. While a diving team explored the reefs to collect baseline data on corals, fish, and invertebrates, a land team conducted socioeconomic surveys within the communities, all of which are activities under Step 4 – Collecting and Managing Information of the Reimaanlok process. Later in October 2016, MIMRA revisited the two atolls to share the data / information collected by the surveyors and to begin drafting resource management plans for Lae and Ujae as part of Step 5 – Developing the Management Plan. Drafting activities included identifying and prioritizing resources and threats, listing stakeholders, identifying a community vision, and indicating strategies and actions important for achieving the goals of the community. Once the terms of the drafts have been reviewed and endorse by the respective mayors and Iroojlaplap Michael Kabua, Lae and Ujae will be ready with their final resource management plans for implementation.  

Ebon Reimaanlok Activities

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All of the ideas and information generated from this consultation helped formulate a draft management plan for the people of Ebon Atoll

HIGHLIGHT

Consulting with the Ebon Community

After executing "Step 3 - Building Commitment'' for the Reimaanlok process in 2015, the team moved on to"Step 4 - Collecting and Managing Information" by visiting the atoll to collect data both on land and undetwater. Following the surveys, the Coastal Division team returned to Ebon to Facilitate a week­long community consultation using the data collected from the previous trips.

Exercises involved identifYing and mapping of natural resource targets, crafting goals and objectives,and community visioning. All of the ideas and information generated from this consultation helped formulate a draft management plan for the people of Ebon Atoll. MIMRA will be reviewing the dtaft management plan together with the Ebon Local Resources Committee later in the year.

Key field guide to be updated

Partner agencies in the Coastal Management Advisory Council (CMAC) bring together a multiagency organization approach to the Reimaanlok process by providing a platform for collaboration, integration, and technical advice. This consultation process brings multiple sectors to engage in and support this national conservation effort. Partners in CMAC with MIMRA are the College of the Marshall Islands, Marshall Islands EPA, Marshall Islands Conservation Society, RMI Environmental Protection Authority, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Resources and Development, Office of Environmental Planning and Policy Coordination, RMI Historic Preservation Office, Marshall Islands Visitors Authority, Marshall Islands Conservation Society, College of the Marshall Islands, Land Grant, University of Hawaii Sea Grant, Women United Together Marshall Islands, International Organization of Migration RMI Office, and University of the South Pacific.

CMAC held regular monthly meetings during the year in support of integrated resource management. The major highlight for the year was a two-day group retreat on Eneko Island, facilitated by The Nature Conservancy. Outcomes of the retreat included: 1) Finalizing and adopting the CMAC Strategic Action Plan and Terms of Reference, and 2) Updating the CMAC memorandum of understanding (MOU) among all collaborating partners for final review by CMAC members.

In 2017, CMAC will be reviewing and updating the Reimaanlok field guide to ensure we are using the best tools available to best assist our local communities in resource management planning.
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