Federated States of Micronesia

The purpose of this booklet is to encourage the young people of the Federated States of Micronesia to pursue careers in environmental science and conservation, with the further goal of sustainable natural resource use and preservation of biodiversity in the Pacific. The text aims to make these topics relevant by focusing on the environments of Chuuk State and using Chuukese and outer island examples to illustrate scientific concepts.

Marine pollution is widely recognised as one of the four major threats to the world’s oceans, along with habitat destruction, over-exploitation of living marine resources and invasive marine species. Spills of oil and other chemicals into the marine environment, both from ships and land-based sources, is a significant source of pollution.

The Pacific islands of Oceania cover almost 15% of the world’s surface and are characterised by a high degree of ecosystem and species diversity. The region is characterised by thousands of isolated small coral atolls and higher volcanic islands, which has led to the high diversity of species found today. In fact, the number of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth (endemic species) is extremely high - often up to 90% for particular groups. Often, these rare and endemic species are adapted to specialised habitats and limited to small areas of a few islands.

This document is a product of the GEF-PAS regional invasive species project 'Prevention, control and management of invasive alien species in the Pacific Islands' implemented by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and executed by SPREP.