Pakin Atoll is located 45 kilometers southwest of Pohnpei Island and consists of a barrier reef surrounding 17 small islands, five of which are inhabited. On June 9, 2011, the Pakin community gathered on Nikahlap, the main island of the atoll, to honor and celebrate the mounting of 12 markers that distinguish the boundaries of their three newly-established Marine Protected Areas (MPA).
The ceremony, planned by the Pakin community, began with traditional sakau preparation to commemorate the presence of the highly-esteemed guests, including Congressman Doses D. Halbert; Senator Peter M. Lohn of the Pohnpei State Legislature, who also serves as Wasahi Sokehs, the second-highest title in the line of the paramount chief (Nahnmwarki) of Sokehs; Mr. Lucas Carlos, Director of Public Safety; Mr. Epert Mikel (Soulik en Soamwoai), Administrator of the Office of Fisheries and Aquaculture (OFA); Community Chief Pedrus Primo (Kehlahk Takaieu); Pakin Community Chief Pius Sihten (Sounihrek Pakin); representatives from the Sokehs municipal government; Mr. Eugene Joseph, Acting Director of the Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP), officials from the environmental sector; and members of the Pakin community.
Senator Lohn and Congressman Halbert delivered words of encouragement to the people of Pakin, reminding them of the impact of resource exploitations around the world and assuring the people that our leaders are making resource-management a top priority. The Director of Public Safety lifted spirits with his vision to maximize partnership in enforcement and surveillance, while CSP shared success stories from the Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMA) Network. The mounting of the final marker at its post and a solemn blessing concluded the event, which will be remembered as the day that the Pakin community rose to a new level of collaborative resource management.