The Conservation Society of Pohnpei was founded in 1998 by a group of local individuals concerned with the need to preserve Pohnpei’s natural heritage while encouraging sustainable development. Over the past eleven years we have grown to become one of the region’s premier conservation groups, leading the way in Pohnpei’s environmental movement through our myriad of partnership work with local communities, government agencies, and organizations. We strive to mobilize community participation in resource management, promote conservation policies and laws, and develop successful alternatives to resource exploitation.
In its first year, CSP completed several public education and awareness activities. These included conducting quarterly island-wide cleanups, producing radio programs and publications, and hosting school and community presentations to raise awareness about Pohnpei’s rich biological diversity and the threats to these resources. The results were very encouraging. Municipalities and communities are now carrying out regular clean-ups and aluminum recycling, traditional and political leaders are aware of CSP and support our programs, and schools and communities are starting their own conservation projects.
With these early successes, CSP began raising funds to hire full-time staff members to expand its programs. Over the past nine years, the organization has grown to include 20 full-time staff members and several volunteers working on a variety of conservation-related projects from watershed management to marine protected areas. Much of CSP’s efforts have focused on:
- Establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPA) to conserve Pohnpei’s rich marine ecosystems and biodiversity
- Establishing Pohnpei’s Watershed Forest Reserve
- Raising awareness at both the community and school levels through extensive outreach programs
- Building partnerships with local governments, traditional leaders, and communities to ensure compatible resource management at all levels
- Policy development that enhances biodiversity conservation