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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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Assistant Secretary Babauta Supports Micronesian Coral Reef Initiative



April 12, 2010

Washington, D.C. - Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Areas, Tony Babauta today signed a Coral Reef Initiative grant in the amount of $155,000 to support the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT).

The funds will be used by the MCT to strengthen coordination and technical support for the conservation of island natural resources through the Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Areas Community (PIMPAC). These efforts will also further advance the Micronesia Challenge in the Marshall Islands, Guam, Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

"Collectively, the MCT and PIMPAC develop strong and direct ties with local resource management agencies within the Pacific to increase management effectiveness by providing access to regional expertise. They offer innovative ways for helping to build local capacity through learning exchanges and partnerships with local management to better conserve our coral reefs while protecting the survival of Pacific traditions and cultures," said Assistant Secretary Babauta.

"We have a responsibility to assist and promote the protection of our coral reef ecosystems. We must develop a new understanding of the environment and the continuing relationship of the indigenous people to their land. We do so by strengthening community-based protected areas and encouraging the creation of community-based ecotourism," added Babauta.