Federated States of Micronesia President Panuelo and USAID Raise Climate Change Awareness on World Humanitarian Day

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Federated States of Micronesia President Panuelo and USAID Raise Climate Change Awareness on World Humanitarian Day
Federated States of Micronesia President David Panuelo, U.S. Ambassador Carmen G. Cantor, and USAID Country Coordinator Micronesia Rodger Garner kayaking for climate change on World Humanitarian Day.

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Federated States of Micronesia President David W. Panuelo, US Ambassador Carmen G. Cantor and USAID Country Coordinator Rodger Garner raised World Humanitarian Day’s 2021 theme of “A global challenge for climate action in solidarity with the people who need it most”.

This theme highlights the immediate challenges of Climate Change on the World’s most vulnerable people. It involved a kayaking challenge Lidakika Causeway to Mangrove Bay to raise awareness of the importance of Climate Change Mitigation.

When asked “How is climate change affecting the people of the FSM today?”, President Panuelo replied: “The impacts of Climate Change right now, today, are significant in number and extensive in scope. Saltwater intrusion in our taro patches on remote atolls is occurring at precisely the time we see an increase of storms heavy enough to fell banana trees. The resulting food and economic insecurity from higher seas, rougher and more frequent storms, and less predictable rainfall means we have a massive out-migration and brain-drain, which is perhaps most strongly shown through school enrollment rates.

“Atolls like Woleai, Polowat, Mwoakilloa, Pingelap, Kapingmarangi, and Sapwuahfik used to have schools with 100, even 200 students per school, and for School Year 2021-2022 we can see enrollment rates as low as 14 children for some of these same schools. The resulting loss of our people means that Climate Change isn’t just an environmental or economic issue, but a cultural problem as well, as the loss of our people means future generations will be less aware of, and less able to embrace, their own and rightful heritage.”

The Biden Administration stands in unity with the FSM National Government in the fight against Climate Change. President Biden has pledged to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by fifty percent or more by 2030.

Last updated: October 25, 2021

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