April 18, 2014
News Update
Jaluit gets climate change adaption and disaster risk reduction planning
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) CADRE team spent several weeks in Jaluit Atoll, engaging Jaluit High School students and the community in resilience building activities on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. In addition to sharing climate and disaster preparedness science lesson plans with students and freshman science teachers, the team held meetings with JHS administrators to formulate a school emergency management plan which culminated in the execution of a school-wide emergency drill. In partnership with Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI), the team held two sessions to conduct hazard, vulnerability, capacity, and mapping exercises with the JHS staff and students, and Jabor community members.
Read more about this in the April 25, 2014 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.
Graduates Alicia
Edwards, Benedict
Yamamura and
Aileen Sefeti.

Main photo:
Hilary Hosia

Marshallese students shine at Suva ceremony
Three Marshall Islands marine experts were awarded bachelors’ degrees last weekend in Suva. Benedict Yamamura and Aileen Sefeti achieved bachelor of arts degrees in marine affairs and geography, while Alicia Edwards gained her bachelor of science degree in marine science. Yamamura and Sefeti were at the graduation ceremony, while Edwards, working at MIMRA in Majuro, did not attend. Other Marshallese students also completed diploma courses and graduated at the ceremony in Suva. They include Capelle Antibas, Carl Jeadrik, Elmi Keju and Keener Menanso who completed a diploma in educational leadership and change.
Olita Pedro also completed a diploma course. Foreign Minister Tony deBrum, T&C Minister Thomas Heine and RMI Ambassador to Fiji Frederick Muller and his wife Beulah were on hand to recognize the students at the ceremony.
EPA calls for community to help fight polluters
A fishing vessel agreed this week to pay $10,000 to the RMI EPA for a Majuro lagoon pollution incident. But the Environmental Protection Authority thinks lagoon polluters should be paying much higher fines, and the RMI Attorney General’s office says pollution legislation needs to be updated to increase fines in line with international standards. The Fong Seong 767 this week agreed to pay $10,000 after being ordered to remain in Port Majuro until it paid a fine for a 2012 lagoon pollution incident. EPA had cited the purse seiner two years ago and directed the company to pay a $120,000 fine. But the AG’s office recommended accepting the company’s offer based on possible challenges in proving the case in court. RMI EPA Deputy GM Julian Alik and EPA Board Chairman Reginald White signed a letter earlier in the month to the vessel and the Ching-Fu Shipping Agency, which handles the Fong Seong vessels locally, notifying the vessel it was banned from departing until the fine was resolved. The vessel, which regularly transships tuna in Majuro, has been undergoing repairs this month
in Majuro. RMI EPA General Manager Lowell Alik is seeking government support for EPA to hire its own lawyer so it can prosecute pollution cases independently. “EPA has sufficient evidence in place to take the violators to court but we cannot do it without a lawyer,” he said. In the meantime, Alik says the number of fuel spills in the lagoon have declined in recent months due to improved enforcement activity. “People are starting to comply (with EPA rules),” he said. “We are not seeing the daily oil spills we saw last year.” But he called on people in the community to help EPA spot polluters, offering a reward of five percent of fines collected for evidence. “Some of the cases that we’ve issued violations to are because of the help of concerned citizens and residents and I would like to thank them for their assistance,” Alik said.