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PALIKIR, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (September 24, 2002 DEA/FSM Information Services)---The State of Yap has been awarded $350,000 to implement a four-year pilot project to promote sustainable coastal fisheries through identified marine protected areas in the state.

Yap’s winning project --together with projects from Kosrae and Pohnpei -- were the only three proposals submitted to the FSM National Government for consideration under the International Waters Project Fund, made available to Pacific Islands Forum countries by the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

Entitled, "Chotowliy Ea Day" or "Take Care of the Marine Environment," the project promotes the ideal of co-management -- sharing the responsibilities of Yap’s natural resources management.

Assisted by the National Government and SPREP, project "Chotowliy Ea Day" is expected to involve several local communities working with national and local governments, non-government organizations and traditional leaders.

According to Yap State’s Marine Resource Management Division spokesman, Andy Tafileichig, "It is very timely that the project start right now . . . to better manage our marine environment and involving the communities."

Tafileichig went on to say that the project will, "ensure all involved have the necessary tools, information and the resources" for successful results.

The project is expected to make an immense contribution to the sustainability of Yap’s coastal fisheries.

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