Sunday, May 6, 2012

First Attempt to Establish Upland Protected Area for Kosrae

On December 19, 2011, Kosrae Conservation and Safety Organization (KCSO) and  Critical Ecosystem Partnership Funds (CEPF) signed  an agreement to implement a project entitled, “Protecting Kosrae’s Upland Forest”. The project aimed to deliver the following components; conduct a general survey and inventory of plants on Kosrae; raise awareness in schools and the communities on upland forest; promote the Olum watershed area for protection and recognition under the Kosrae State Protected Area Law; and mapping and reporting of  invasive weeds to assist control efforts on the island of Kosrae.
  KCSO staffs met with Malem Municipal Leadership on  “Protecting Kosrae’s Upland Forest” project. 
Left to right (Mayor Klava Klavasru, Terrestrial Program Manager, Jacob-Luke Sanney, 
Marine Program Manager, Marston Luckymis and Executive  Director Andy George)
On January 16, 2012, I, and Program Managers met with the Mayor, municipal leaders, church leaders, community leaders, senior citizens, youth, local farmers and landowners to discuss ongoing efforts to protect Olum Watershed and to initiate discussion on the proposed Pikensukar Marine Protected area.  At the meeting, I introduced and discussed regional and local needs to set up protected areas and to garner community support before project implementation takes place in Malem. The Mayor and members of the community indicated full support of the projects.
Kosrae Elementary School.
Following the 1st meeting, KCSO staffs conducted another visit on the 26th of January, 2012, with more stakeholders participated. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss what, how, and why we should seriously consider protecting the natural condition of Upland Forest along with the marine areas of Kosrae. Through collaborative efforts and support among environmental agencies/partners, KCSO project team will be launching a conceptual modeling workshop with the community of Malem in May, 2012. 
From January 25th to February 7th, KCSO Terrestrial and Education Program completed the 1st round of Awareness in Kosrae Elementary School targeting 7th grade students. The team presented a general overview on the significance of Upland Forest and human impacts such as deforestation that contributes to a threaten community. A survey was also handed out during each visit that will be used at the end of the school year to measure changes in awareness level. 
Potential invasive.
For the past three months, KCSO Terrestrial Program conducted a series of  field trips all over the island collecting  new plant species and  mapping invasive weeds in the upland forests. We found a patch of Micania micrantha at 100m altitude in Saolung Tafunsak. This noxious weed can be seen all over the community which is where imports and commercial activities take place. In Utwe, the southernmost village, we sighted two patches of Clerodendrum quadriculare. This shrub is listed on the eradication protocol for KIRMA, which they did a good job taking down over 80%. 

We also found another potential invasive shrub identified as Pseuderanthenum carruthesii var. atropurpureum, on the coastal strands in Walung village. These invasive weeds was suggested by invasive species coordinators at both KIRMA (Kosrae Island Resource Management Authority) and DREA (Department Resource & Economic Affair)  for further observation regarding its invasive status and setting up of means of controlling the outbreak of the species in the future. KCSO will assist its local partners, KIRMA & DREA to identify and map the occurrences of invasive weed species and seek foreign assistance to do a feasible study on these noxious weeds.

Posted by
Andy George, KCSO Executive Director
3:10 pm
Sunday, May 6, 2011
Location: Kosrae


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