Multilateral Pacific Ocean Management Agreement Signed

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CNMI, Guam, Am. Samoa to coordinate management efforts

By Louella Losinio

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, Sept. 5, 2012) – A partnership agreement on regional coastal and ocean management was recently signed by the governors of Guam, Hawaii, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, American Samoa Gov. Togiola T.A. Tulafono, CNMI Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, and Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo recently signed the Governors’ Pacific Regional Ocean Partnership, or PROP, an agreement that will assist "in identifying coastal and ocean management priorities that require a coordinated regional response and increased collaboration"

"This regional partnership will enhance our ability to work cooperatively in addressing stewardship of our oceans and coastal areas for future generations," Abercrombie stated in a press release.

He further stated: "Although we are separated by thousands of miles, our islands are tied together by one ocean as well as shared heritage and cultural traditions, and great value placed on our natural resources and the environment."


The partnership outlines 10 regional objectives. High on the list is the "promotion of regional sustainability of resources that supports individual state requirements and the facilitation of the implementation of the priority objectives of the President’s Executive Order 13547 of July 19, 2010, which established the National Ocean Policy."

EO 13547 states: "The ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes provide jobs, food, energy resources, ecological services, recreation, and tourism opportunities, and play critical roles in our nation's transportation, economy, and trade, as well as the global mobility of our Armed Forces and the maintenance of international peace and security."

Aside from stressing "the coordination and communication of regional priorities," the PROP objectives also emphasize "cooperation and collaboration on all aspects of ocean and coastal-related research and development, education, exploration and observation, and oceans management."

Hawaii Office of Planning Director Jesse Souki, in a news release, said: "The PROP creates a structure for developing regional priorities and a framework for collaboratively working with stakeholders such as local communities; county, state and federal agencies; non-governmental organizations; and the private sector. The next step for the PROP will be identifying regional priorities and reaching out to regional stakeholders."

Souki’s office will be working with American Samoa, the CNMI and Guam representatives in the implementation of the partnership objectives.

According to the release, "The Office of Planning is charged with facilitating the update and implementation of the Statewide Ocean Resources Management Plan and implementing the Coastal Zone Management Act with participating agencies and affected local communities."

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