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Forest management

Forest management plans

Table 18 - Area of forest under management

Reference year:

Forest type (using country classification)

Total area

(000 ha)

Area under management1

(000 ha)

Production

Conservation

Other purpose

(please specify)

Total

All forest types (Total Forest)

     

4.350

4.350

1 Area under management is defined here as the forest that is managed for various purposes (conservation, production, other) in accordance with a formal, nationally approved, management plan over a sufficiently long period (five years or more)

References: http://mail.admin.gov.gu/agri/PIC/micrones_rfs.html gives 10,750 acres as being under forest management plans. Converted to ha = 4 350.

Land ownership

Forest land in public ownership

(000 ha)

Forest land owned by indigenous/tribal peoples

(000 ha)

Forest land in private ownership

(000 ha)

State

Other1

Total

       

28.125

1 Other: Forest land belonging to cities, municipalities, villages and communes. Also includes any publicly owned forest and other wooded land not elsewhere specified.

References: http://mail.admin.gov.gu/agri/PIC/micrones_rfs.html gives as 69,500 acres. Converted to ha = 28 125.

Protected areas

Policy and legislation

The Federated States of Micronesia consists of the states of Yap, Truk, Pohnpei and Kosrae and became an independent nation in free association with the USA on 3 November 1986, having previously been part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Legally a sovereign nation, the Federation is loose, with each state having an elected governor and a unicameral assembly (Paxton 1989), and in general the national government is relatively weak compared to the USA (C. Dahl, pers. comm., 1990).

Some United States Federal legislation and Trust Territory legislation applied while this country was a part of the Trust Territory. This included the Trust Territory Environment Act enacted by the former Congress of Micronesia in 1972. This provided for the establishment of a Trust Territory Environmental Protection Board. However, neither the Act, nor the work of the Board related specifically to protected areas. The Trust Territory Endangered Species Act (TTPI Public Law 6-55 of 1975) allowed for acquisition of land or water for the purpose of conserving threatened species. Other relevant Trust Territory Acts included the Fishing Law and the Land Use Planning Act, both 1972. US legislation relevant to the Trust Territories included various pollution laws and housing acts, as well as the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. With the termination of the Trust Territory, US Federal provisions only apply to the now very limited US actions within the Federation and do not apply to private individual or national government actions.

Neither the legislation, nor the policy on protected areas was clear while the country was a part of the Trust Territory, and no protected areas were actually established. This is largely because the United States, while administering the Territory, did not own property and hence had no direct jurisdiction to cover designation of protected areas. Virtually all land and reefs and coastal areas are in private or traditional ownership and this has continued to inhibit the establishment of protected areas (S.L. Anefal, pers. comm., 1990).

Legislation to support a coastal resource management programme in Kosrae has been drafted and submitted to the legislature. However, it will be some time before the bill is acted upon, and even if passed, there is likely to be a considerable delay before any protected areas are established. In Pohnpei, a watershed management act was passed in 1987 that gave the state government substantial authority to protect much of the islandís interior and mangrove areas. However, implementation is slow and there is little awareness among the populace that the uplands are off-limits for traditional agricultural use (C. Dahl, pers. comm., 1990).

International activities

The Federated States of Micronesia is not yet party to any of the international conventions or programmes that directly promote the conservation of natural areas, namely the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention), UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme and the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention).

The Convention on the Conservation of Nature in the South Pacific (1976) has been neither signed nor ratified. Known as the Apia Convention, it entered into force during 1990. The Convention is coordinated by the South Pacific Commission and represents the first attempt within the region to cooperate on environmental matters. Among other measures, it encourages the creation of protected areas to preserve indigenous flora and fauna.

The Federated States of Micronesia is party to the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the 1986 Convention for the Protection of the Natural Resources and Environment of the South Pacific Region (SPREP Convention) has been signed (9 April 1987) and ratified (29 November 1988). The Convention entered into force during August 1990. Article 14 calls upon the parties to take all appropriate measures to protect rare or fragile ecosystems and threatened or endangered flora and fauna through the establishment of protected areas and the regulation of activities likely to have an adverse effect on the species, ecosystems and biological processes being protected. However, as this provision only applies to the convention areas, which by definition is open ocean, it is most likely to assist with the establishment of marine reserves and the conservation of marine species.

Administration and management

Pohnpei State has a Division of Parks and Recreation within its Department of Lands.

Systems review

The Federated States of Micronesia includes most of the Caroline Islands, running west-north-west from Kosrae to Yap, and consists of volcanic and metamorphic islands and atolls. "Almost atolls" are also present, making the group one of the more typical island chains. The development and origin of the Caroline Islands is described by Scott and Rotondo (1983); general information is given in SPREP (1980). The islandsí traditional economies have been undermined by a century of foreign influence, trade, control and warfare. The Japanese in particular disrupted land-use controls and ownership customs, permitted greater public access to resources and undermined traditional conservation (Maragos, 1986).

The islands support a rich flora and fauna with many endemic forms. Major ecosystems include lowland, montane, cloud, riverine, swamp, mangrove and atoll forest, savannah and grassland, seagrass beds, lagoons, and extensive coral reefs (Dahl, 1980). Much of the natural vegetation has been cleared for coconut plantations (e.g. on Yap and Puluwat) or disturbed by phosphate mining (e.g. on the raised coral island of Fais). Few areas of native vegetation remain on the Truk Islands, except on the high volcanic islands of Moen, Dublon, Uman, Fefan, Udot and Tol. Although the lowland forests on the Pohnpei Islands have been much disturbed, both Kosrae and the island of Pohnpei retain upland forests (IUCN, 1986). A description of forests and conservation problems is given by Fosberg (1973). An account of the reefs and reef resources is given in UNEP/IUCN (1988).

Environmental issues, reviewed by Maragos (1986), include poorly-planned coastal development leading to degraded or destroyed mangroves, reefs and sea grass beds and consequently reduced fisheries output, and the disposal of wastewater discharges and solid waste. Crowding and land shortages in Pohnpei has spurred immigration from the outer atolls and led to additional landfilling along the shorelines and mangrove areas in the Kolonia-Sokehs area for residences. This has not yet had serious environmental consequences but the rapidly expanding population may have escalating effects in the future. A major emerging problem is the increased fishing pressure from rising populations and over- fishing of preferred species. Truk is economically severely depressed and overcrowded conditions on some islands in the lagoons are affecting health and welfare. In particular, water supply and quality are unreliable. Truk has also experienced considerable reef degradation through dynamiting.

Some degree of protection has been recommended for Gaferut (Dahl, 1980), although this has not been implemented, and turtle and bird populations are still traditionally exploited by the owners (S.L. Anefal, pers. comm., 1990). Turtle reserves have been recommended for Elato, Pikelot, West Fayu, all in Yap State, and Orulok. At present no turtle sanctuaries have been established in Yap State (S.L. Anefal, pers. comm., 1990). Dahl (1980, 1986) stresses that there is an urgent need to inventory the biomes of the Federated States of Micronesia in view of the great richness of the area and the likelihood of increasing pressure in the near future.

Yap Stateís Marine Resources Management Division is working on a Marine Resources Coastal Management Plan, incorporating traditional customs and laws (S.L. Anefal, pers. comm., 1990). This is likely to include recommendations for the protection of specific areas. However, a strong system of reef ownership still exists in Yap so the establishment of protected areas in Yap is likely to be on a significantly different basis than elsewhere (C. Dahl, pers. comm., 1990).

The Pohnpei Coastal Resources Management Plan (1987) recommended numerous marine areas for protection, although these recommendations have not been acted upon. There has also been some interest at community level in the establishment of a mangrove reserve in Pohnpei, with the intention of generating revenue from tourists. Protected status has been conferred on inland areas of Pohnpei Island, which contains a range of tropical high island forest, important both as wildlife habitat and watershed protection (Anon. 1989). Surveys of Oroluk Atoll are planned for 1991, with the intention of recommending some form of protection. The traditional management of resources, and the pressures placed upon on it by economic and social pressures, is discussed by Yinug et al. (1989) with the conclusion that some form of legislated resource management is becoming necessary. A coastal resource management plan for Kosrae is being developed (Dahl 1989) which includes proposals for the establishment of a contiguous marine reserve and terrestrial park and a resource reserve on the south coast of the island in which subsistence use would be allowed.

References

Anon. 1989. Progress with the action strategy for protected areas in the South Pacific. Information Paper 3. Fourth South Pacific Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas. Port Vila, Vanuatu, 4-12 September. 19 pp.

Dahl, A.L. 1980. Regional ecosystems of the South Pacific area. SPC/IUCN Technical Paper 179. South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia. 99 pp.

Dahl, A.L. 1986. Review of the protected areas system in Oceania. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK/UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya. 328 pp.

Dahl, C. 1989. Developing a coastal resource management plan for Kosrae State, Federated States of Micronesia. Case Study No. 23. Fourth South Pacific Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, Port Vila, Vanuatu, 4-12 September. 7 pp.

Fosberg, F.R. 1973. On present condition and conservation of forests in Micronesia. In: Pacific Science Association, Planned Utilisation of the Lowland Tropical Forests. Proceedings of the Pacific Science Standing Committee Symposium, August 1971, Bogor, Indonesia. Pp. 165-171.

Maragos, J.E. 1986. Coastal resource development and management in the US Pacific Islands: 1. Island-by-island analysis. Office of Technology Assessment, US Congress. Draft.

Paxton, J. 1989. The Statesmanís Yearbook 1989-1990. The Macmillan Press Ltd, London. 1691 pp.

Scott, G.A.J. and Rotondo, G.M. 1983. A model for the development of types of atoll and volcanic islands on the Pacific lithospheric plate. Atoll Research Bulletin 260. 33 pp.

SPREP 1980. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Country Report 14. South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia.

UNEP/IUCN 1988. Coral reefs of the world. Volume 3. Central and Western Pacific. UNEP Regional Seas Directories and Bibliographies. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK/UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya. 378 pp.

Yinug, M., Falanruw, M., Manmaw, C. 1989. Traditional and current resource management in Yap. In: SPREP, Report on the workshop on customary tenure, traditional resource management and nature conservation, Noumea, 28 March - 1 April. South Pacific Commission, Noumea. Pp. 113-116.

Forest products production, trade and consumption

Products

No information.

Trade

   

Import

Export

Production

Consumption

 

Units

Quantity

$US
(x1000)

Quantity

$US
(x1000)

Quantity

Quantity

Sawnwood

Cum

7140

1638

0

0

0

7140

Sawnwood (C)

Cum

7096

1606

0

0

0

7096

Sawnwood (NC)

Cum

44

32

0

0

0

44

Wood-Based Panels

Cum

901

359

0

0

0

901

Plywood

Cum

899

357

0

0

0

899

Particle Board

Cum

2

2

0

0

0

2

Fibreboard

Cum

0

0

0

0

0

0

Paper+Paperboard

Mt

91

72

0

0

0

91

Printing+Writing Paper

Mt

14

11

0

0

0

14

Other Paper+Paperboard

Mt

77

61

0

0

0

77

Roundwood

Cum

708

41

0

0

0

708

Industrial Roundwood

Cum

493

32

0

0

0

493

Wood Fuel

Cum

215

9

0

0

0

215


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