The Schools for Environmental Conservation program of the Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance hosted students and their class advisers for their final presentations and award ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Saipan Ballroom last Dec. 4, 2020.
The theme of this year’s focus for SFEC was “Learning About, Interacting With, and Actively Conserving the CNMI’s Natural Resources.” Students from Dandan Middle School, Hopwood Junior High School, Mount Carmel School, Saipan Community School, and Saipan International School completed the six-monthlong SFEC program, and each school group gave presentations of their results and Conservation Action Plans to those in attendance at the event.
Now in its 11th year, the SFEC program provides opportunities for students to learn about and work on projects that they design and implement on their school campuses that focus on specific environmental issues. The theme for 2020‘s SFEC program was on Climate Change, and students and teachers together engaged in educational and field activities. Through experiential learning from these natural laboratories, participants in the SFEC program learn about the critical role that the CNMI’s natural resources play in the islands’ sustainability and gain skills that promote and encourage environmental stewardship throughout the islands.
MINA would like to acknowledge their partners from the CNMI Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality and the CNMI Department of Lands and Natural Resources for helping to make the SFEC program a success, and a special thanks for sharing of their expertise goes out to Division of Coastal Resources Management marine biologists Dave Benavente, Dr. Denise Perez, and John Iguel; GIS specialist Rodney Camacho; watershed coordinator Zak Williams; NOAA Coral Reef Management fellow Ilan Bubb; Coral Initiative Communications coordinator Mallory Muna; Coastal Zone communications assistant Colleen Flores; DLNR public outreach specialist Carey Demapan; Micronesia Challenge Young Champion Pheona David; and NMC School of Education intern Sheila Aliven. In addition to these dedicated environmentalists, MINA would also like to thank the evening’s guest speaker, 2019 Miss Marianas Shannon Sasamoto, who participated in the SFEC program in 2016; Miss Earth Ria Terlaje; and emcee Romolo Orsini.
Funding for MINA’s SFEC program is supported by the Margaret Cargill Philanthropies and Micronesia Conservation Trust who are dedicated to the region’s aim to meet the goals of the Micronesia Challenge: 2020 Milestone and Beyond.
MINA is a 501(c)(3) environmental nonprofit organization and has been serving the Marianas for fifteen years. MINA fosters community and science-based conservation programs to enhance and sustain the CNMI’s environments and cultures. If you’d like to support MINA’s efforts in empowering communities for conservation, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or make a voluntary contribution by visiting our website at www.minapacific.org. (PR)