OIA official lauds NMI’s efforts to recover after pandemic

Posted on Jun 15 2022


Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, left, shakes hands with Director of Policy Basil Ottley of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs after yesterday’s meeting. (OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR)

Basil Ottley, the director of Policy at the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs, congratulated Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and the CNMI yesterday for its efforts to revitalize the CNMI economy after the global pandemic.

In particular, Ottley highlighted the CNMI’s Travel Resumption Investment Program with South Korea, as well as the amount of observable business activity in the CNMI.

Ottley met with Torres yesterday to discuss the CNMI’s current state of recovery after natural disasters, the global pandemic, and opportunities for growth of the CNMI’s economy and conservation of environments.

Ottley also commended the CNMI on its recent presentation at the Territorial Climate Infrastructure Workshop in Honolulu, Hawaii, in March. The delegation that represented the Marianas included representatives of various CNMI government departments and agencies who presented on both the needs and progress of the CNMI in regard to water, built and natural infrastructure, broadband, energy, and legacy pollution.

“We at [DOI-OIA] talked about the great representation and quality of the presentations by team NMI. The other territories were also praising your administration’s presence and presentation throughout,” said  Ottley.

Torres thanked Ottley for taking the time to visit the CNMI to see firsthand the changes and progress being made, as well as the work that still needs to be done to build resilient infrastructure while preserving the natural environment. Specifically, Torres and Ottley discussed the opportunities that the OIA has available to support critical priorities regarding water and coral reef management, especially given impacts in land and water environments due to climate change.

“I’ve built a strong relationship with the federal family over the past seven years, and I look forward to our continued partnership with DOI,” said  Torres. (PR)

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