Federated States of Micronesia: Walking the Talk on Climate Change

Asia, Federated States of Micronesia
Date Publish: 
11 Sep 2015

By Canita Swigart

While Paris prepares for the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 12,210 kilometres away  the tiny Micronesian Island of Yap is celebrating 13 small steps towards building resilience.

September 5 was a festive morning in Yap State as the local Elementary School hosted an official handover ceremony to celebrate an intervention from their own community action plan. They have taken charge of three newly installed rain water catchment systems which will supply 4,200 gallons of rainwater, on an island where fresh water sources are at a premium and drought a real and present threat.

The ceremony in Yap was the  13th such event held across the four Federated States of Micronesia with the support of the Australian Government and IOM.

As diverse as the four states are in language and culture, each handover ceremony was unique in its own way.  Many only happened by the skin of their metaphorical teeth – the school principal rushing through a conference to personally erect a tent where he was Master of Ceremonies, to bouncy boat-rides, to a three-kilometre hike over a freshly poured tar road – every event had a story; every event had sunshine, smiles and songs.

The events took place under the auspices of IOM/Australian Aid’s Climate Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction and Education (CADRE) programme.