The first and second editions of the Handbook, on which this Pacific version is substantially based, were prepared as a practical introduction to negotiating or working on Mulitlateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). They were prepared for people with little or no technical background in negotiations.They were also intended to function as a key reference tool for experienced negotiators. As a result the subject matter is developed at a relatively broad level.

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.

The importance of coastal and marine environments to every aspect of the lives of Pacific Islanders cannot be overstated. Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) maintain resource rights and management responsibilities for over 30 million square kilometres of ocean, equivalent to the total land area of Canada, China and the United States of America. The total population of coastal Pacific Islanders is only 2.6 million. There are 11 square kilometres of ocean for each Pacific Islander.