Four individuals from Saipan took part in the recently concluded and first-ever Socio-Economic Measures Workshop for the Micronesia Challenge.
Division of Environmental Quality's Fran Castro, Steven Johnson, and Kaitlin Mattos, and Coastal Resources Management's Nicole Schafer were among the 35 participants of the workshop held at Palau Community College from Aug. 7 to 9.
Facilitated by the conservation group The Nature Conservancy, the workshop's goal is to identify an initial core set of relevant and practical socio-economic indicators to be used to measure progress of the Micronesia Challenge.
Initiated in 2006, Micronesia Challenge is dedicated to effectively conserving 20 percent of terrestrial and 30 percent of marine resources across Micronesia by 2020.
In measuring the effectiveness of the goal, meetings were convened to discuss metrics to be used for land, marine, and human-related sources, said Mattos via email.
“The goal of the socio-economic measure meeting was to identify several measurements related to people and the environment that would show noticeable improvement as the Challenge was completed,” she told Saipan Tribune.
Mattos disclosed that during the workshop, seven socio-economic measures were preliminarily determined for the Micronesia Challenge.
The Micronesia Challenge Newsletter stated that the group also reviewed previous and ongoing socio-economic work in the region and decided on broad social objectives for the Micronesia Challenge in the domains of Sustainable Livelihoods, Good Governance, and Education and Capacity-building.
“From here, each jurisdiction will consult with their colleagues back home and provide feedback on the measures chosen. Then we will partner with the RARE Program to design ways to collect the data,” Mattos added, referring to the U.S.-based group committed to designing conservation programs that benefit both people and nature to ensure that change is embraced and sustained.