The Integration of Traditional and Modern Systems of Environmental by die90290

VIEWS: 68 PAGES: 50

									CHAPTER 4
 The Integration of
 Traditional and
 Modern Systems of
 Environmental Management
 Public-Private Partnerships in
 Natural Resource Management and
 Tourism Development in the State of Yap,
 Federated States of Micronesia
 Richard S. Stevenson
132
                                                                                                                       133

                                                                 to the normal executive, legislative, and judicial
Executive Summary
                                                                 branches, a fourth branch comprises two councils of
                                                                 traditional leaders.
Objective
                                                                      Traditional Leadership

  A   s part of the preparation of the Pacific Region
      Environmental Strategy (PRES) the Asian
Development Bank (ADB) funded a field study in Yap
                                                                      Respect for the traditional culture and for the
                                                                 traditional leaders in Yap is still strong, though the
State, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), of traditional      observance of traditional practices and rights is
approaches to the management of natural resources and            weakening as Yap progressively enters the cash
their relationship to modern resource management and             economy and adopts modern technology.
to the development of tourism. It is intended that this
study contribute to PRES guidelines for environmental               The traditional method of natural resource
sustainability and be of general use to other Pacific island     management in Yap is based on very complex systems
members of ADB.                                                  of both traditional leadership and land tenure. In the
                                                                 traditional culture of Yap, a geographic area does not
     The objectives of the study are to evaluate (i) how         normally have just a single leader or “chief.” Any single
traditional systems have played a role in natural resource       village and its lands are governed by complex hierarchies
management and in development, (ii) how traditional              of village and family structure, and by multiple leaders
systems could be productively integrated with contem-            of different rank, each with specific cultural and
porary approaches to resource management, and (iii)              operational responsibilities and authority. One of the
how public-private partnerships have been employed in            leaders, not necessarily the most senior, has
the development of tourist destinations in a Pacific island      responsibility for the stewardship of the land, and
nation and could be employed in future development.              another has responsibility for stewardship of the water
                                                                 or marine resources.
    The study examines, through interviews with
locally involved persons, the decision-making                        As part of the system of multiple and specialized
processes employed for the development of four                   leadership roles, decisions are normally taken
resorts. Two are small locally owned facilities using            consensually, through community discussion, from
traditional island design and two are larger, more               which the responsible leader gauges the consensus and
complex and internationally or expatriate-owned and              announces it as the decision of the community. The
-operated facilities. Through the same interview process,        Yapese culture is very nonconfrontational, and it is often
the study examines the traditional methods of natural            difficult for individuals to speak their opinion.
resource management, how the traditional and modern
state approaches have conflicted with or complemented                 Decisions are taken for the overall welfare of the
each other, and how they can be better integrated in the         community, whether at the village or regional level. As
future for more sustainable environmental management.            much of the work in the past was done communally (e.g.,
                                                                 fishing and building fish traps, building boats or houses,
Background                                                       and repairing the stone paths that connected
                                                                 communities), members of the community were able to
    Government                                                   discuss issues with deliberation, and usually a consensus
                                                                 emerged without confrontation.
    Yap is one of four states in the FSM (Figre 4.1).
Within the federation, Yap State is a constitutional                  Land Tenure
democracy with great independence to set its own
policies and operations.                                              Land tenure is extremely complex and has
                                                                 significant implications for future development and
    Respect for tradition is incorporated into the               management of natural resources. Some land or water
constitution of Yap State, into the legal code, and into         may be held communally, but for most the right to use
the very structure of the government where, in addition          the resource is owned by individuals and is inherited in

                                                               PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
134

an equally complex hybrid matrilineal/patrilineal system.         These traditional systems of natural resource
While the “owner” enjoys the exclusive use of the              management have been increasingly unable to regulate
resource, the nature of that use is subject to the guidance    the use of either marine or terrestrial resources in the
or limitation of the traditional leader who has                sustainable manner that they once did. Weakened
responsibility for stewardship of the resource. The owner      traditional authority and loss of community cohesion
has the right to take resources from the area for the          make it difficult to stop widespread poaching in violation
welfare of his own family, but more extensive use, such        of individual fishing rights, and technological changes
as fishing by net or agriculture for sale, is subject to the   allow an individual or small group to overfish an area
decision of the appropriate traditional leader.                where previously the entire community fishing together
                                                               and limiting the entry of other communities did not
     Because of its importance, land has been divided          deplete the stocks. Certain fish species have almost
through inheritance until most of it is in small parcels.      disappeared, and it is widely recognized that marine
Less than 10% of land in Yap has been surveyed and             resources are endangered.
titled. Many disputes over boundaries occur, and
because several persons may be named as owner it is                The greatest single impact on the marine resources
often difficult to title the land. Tourism facilities have     has been the introduction of the small-mesh
thus far been built on small footprints of land owned          monofilament nylon net that has made lagoon fishing
by the entrepreneur or on land in Colonia that is or           so easy that fish stocks inside the reef are being
was owned by the state. Any future development of              decimated. The traditional leaders recognize that this is
tourism, especially dispersed ecotourism outside               a problem, but the traditional system of stewardship
Colonia, will face significant barriers in acquiring clear     seems unprepared to deal with the issues and unable to
title or access to land that will be acceptable to             stop the process.
investors. Foreigners and foreign companies are not
allowed to own land in Yap.                                        Increasing variability in weather conditions has
                                                               produced more extreme storm conditions, causing
Findings                                                       substantially increased erosion and saltwater intrusion
                                                               into coastal agricultural lands. The loss to saltwater
      Natural Resource Management                              intrusion of important taro-producing land at the coastal
                                                               fringes has caused interior land to be cleared for garden
      The traditional systems of natural resource              patches, with resulting steady increase in loss of already
management are extensions of the very complex systems          diminished forest cover. Traditional methods for the
of traditional leadership, community cohesiveness, and         multiple use of agricultural land for higher productivity and
landownership. The objective in the traditional system         sustainable yield have been largely lost, and the weakened
of stewardship of the natural resources was to assure          traditional authority and community cohesion apparently
sufficient food and shelter materials. Achieving that          prelude either reintroducing traditional agricultural
objective of course required sustained yield and               methods or stemming the continual clearing of more land.
productivity from the natural systems, but the system
contained no distinct concept of the sustainable use of             The state government has organizational units to
natural resources. The consensual manner in which              plan and manage both agriculture and marine resources,
decisions were made and the ownership and authority            but these units lack sufficient trained staff and funding
patterns over the land and marine areas served to limit        to undertake effective outreach programs. The state
who could use the resources and how they could be used         management units meet resistance from the traditional
to meet a complex set of community needs and                   system that sees state government as intruding on
obligations. The available technology (e.g., stone fish        traditional usage rights, while the traditional system is
traps and heavy hand-made nets) was such that its use          itself unable or unwilling to confront and deal with the
within the ownership system could not easily exhaust           steadily deteriorating resource base.
the resources, and marine populations and land fertility
remained stable. It was not necessary to plan for the               Very little integration of traditional and modern
management of natural resources, and such planning             systems of natural resource management has taken
was not part of the traditional culture.                       place. Traditional systems prevail by default, even in
                                                                                                                         135

their weakened form, because the government is                   that Yap has very limited resources to export or by which
reluctant to confront traditional land and water use             to attract foreign investment, and they therefore assume
rights. Communications between the state government              that their future is tied to the development of tourism.
and the traditional leaders and communities are weak,            While they have fragments of a vision of future tourism,
sometimes clouded in mutual suspicion; the latter                no plan or strategy has emerged as to how they will
generally assume that the state is focused on economic           expand their current level of tourist arrivals and capture
growth, balance of payments, foreign investment,                 new markets.
tourism promotion, and other such “modern economy”
issues and not concerned with the problems or opinions                Public-Private Partnerships
of the traditional leaders and communities.
                                                                        None of the four tourist facilities studied involved
    The two councils of traditional leaders, established         any significant form of public-private partnership. Of the
constitutionally among other purposes to avoid such a            two larger facilities, one was built on land created by
communications gap, have in most cases been unable               fill, owned by the state, and sold to the developer and
to do so effectively, becoming more involved in the              present owner and operator. The other is built on land
modern economy issues of the government. Lack of                 leased from the state and through former colonial powers
effective channels of communication has made it difficult        long ago alienated from any traditional ownership.
for state agencies to reach understanding with leaders
and communities on the common objectives and                           Of the two smaller facilities studied, one is built on
interests for traditional and modern approaches to               land in Colonia purchased through traditional means
management and how they can be beneficially                      (e.g., stone money and other obligations) by the Yapese
integrated.                                                      family that owns and operates it. The other is outside
                                                                 Colonia and is built on land owned traditionally by the
    Tourism                                                      developer and operator. In both cases, the facilities are
                                                                 built on land still within the traditional system of
     Tourism in Yap is of limited scale relative to its          ownership; traditional obligations still connect to the
neighbors, Palau and Guam. On the main island of Yap             land.
are seven relatively small hotel facilities, ranging in size
from 4 to 24 units and totaling 100 rooms and on the                  Two attempts at public-private partnerships in
outlying island of Ulithi, one hotel of 10 units. Tourism        tourism have been made in which private capital partners
is very important to the Yap economy. The Yap Visitors           allied with a village or community. A large development
Bureau estimates that tourists spend US$3 million                was being negotiated between a municipality and a
annually in Yap, a significant amount relative to Yap’s          developer when investors withdrew during the Asian
annual gross domestic product of about US$40 million.            financial crisis. Another smaller venture was started in
It is believed that more than 80% of tourism revenue is          a partnership between a village and an American
connected to diving, which is in turn heavily dependent          investor, but the facility was destroyed by a typhoon in
on the famous manta rays that can be seen year-round.            2001 when only two units had been built and it was
                                                                 barely operational. Though the concept seems
     All but two of the tourism facilities are in Colonia,       acceptable, no real test of it in practice has occurred.
the capital of Yap, which has a population of about 1,000.
All facilities in Colonia are on small areas of land, are        Recommendations
connected to the municipal waste treatment system, and
have thus far had little impact on the environment or the             Four strategic recommendations have been derived
natural resource base. Little growth in tourism has taken        from the study as programmatic guidelines that will
place since the 1997 Asian financial crisis.                     enhance environmental sustainability of the use and
                                                                 management of natural resources, including for the
     The people of Yap are aware of the social and               development of the tourism industry. These recom-
environmental problems that large-scale tourism has              mendations reflect the comments and the recom-
brought to some of their neighboring islands and they            mendations of the people of Yap who were interviewed
want a different future for Yap. They recognize, however,        and are made with reference to conditions and issues in

                                                               PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
136
Figure 4.1. Map of FSM
                                                                                                                        137

Yap. However, they are based on problems that are                support the efforts of state agencies to mount
pervasive among the Pacific island countries. Specific           well-thought-out and systematic processes of
actions to implement each must be tailored to the                communications with the people.
particular conditions in the location concerned.
                                                                     Agreed goals and a shared vision of the future are
    Identify Shared Goals and Plan Strategically                 essential as a basis for selecting courses of action that
                                                                 integrate traditional and modern concepts and tools for
    When asked what they want for Yap, most Yapese               management of natural resources. Development of a
answer with a number of common elements, including               commonly held strategy must begin in the communities
respect for traditional values, controlled progress into         and progress up to the state level. Forums should be
the modern economy, better education and health care,            conducted at the community level to identify community
development of high-end ecotourism, preservation of the          visions for the future, and those should collectively build
environment, better infrastructure, etc. But these issues        a state vision. A vision developed at the top and passed
have not been openly discussed in any forum, and no              down to the communities will be viewed as poor
generally accepted statement of a vision for Yap, or of          communications between state and community.
how the commonly held values and objectives will be
achieved, has evolved.                                                Strengthen Community Cohesion and Action


     Many Yapese feel that the government is pursuing                Traditional management of natural resources was
economic development (e.g., trade, infrastructure, etc.)         based on the needs of the community, but more
rather than development that focuses on bringing a               importantly on cohesion within the community that
better quality of life for many people. Development              caused its members to communicate often among
should be based on broad agreement as to what the                themselves and to understand their common needs and
government and the people are trying to achieve and              best interests. The advent of the cash economy and
the values and priorities that vision comprises. So long         modern technology has caused the community to break
as no open discussion of issues or general agreement             down as an entity, with the result that its members and
on values and a future for Yap takes place, it will be very      leaders often do not understand the issues of sustainable
difficult to integrate traditional forms of natural resource     use of natural resources and are no longer able to act as
management with modern management techniques.                    an entity to enforce their collective will (e.g., prevent
Integration will require using the tools and leverage of         widespread poaching and use of gill nets).
traditional authority and community cohesiveness,
working together with state government science and                   Development programs should address the problem
expertise, to achieve common objectives relating to the          of creating community awareness and cohesion,
sustainable use of natural resources.                            supporting community forums and education to identify
                                                                 common problems and possible solutions. Communities
    Build Government-to-Community Communications                 also need the means by which to take action. A strong
                                                                 and focused community is a critical tool for sustainable
     Communications between the state government                 management of natural resources in Yap. Without it
and the communities are poor; effective channels of              sustainable management may in many cases not be
communication must be built through systematic                   achievable at all, especially since a strong enforcement
contact. The councils of traditional leaders have not            capability will always be both too expensive and
fulfilled their intended role as communicators between           culturally unacceptable.
the government and traditional leaders. State
government agencies have tried, largely unsuccessfully,               Promote Public-Private Partnerships
to communicate with the municipalities, but need to do
so more, more systematically, and with a willingness on              While public-private partnerships are relatively
the part of government to listen rather than direct. Such        unknown at present, the concept fits well with traditional
a program will gradually create understanding through            concepts of the role of the community or village in the
which the community and the state government can                 management of natural resources. Partnerships should
develop cooperation. Development programs must                   be supported through development programs at all

                                                               PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
138

levels. They will provide stability by engaging more        and a community for the development of an ecotourism
stakeholders in the active management of resources,         destination might be the only way such a venture could
preventing resource owners from feeling taken               access the land and water resources required. In such a
advantage of by developers and investors.                   venture the community would hold an equity interest in
                                                            exchange for the guarantee of access to land and
      Development of ecotourism requires access to          resources and over time would take an increasingly
substantial land and water resources. With the prevailing   active role in the actual management of the facility.
complex system of landownership, partnerships may           Development programs should build the institutional
be the only way that such development will be               capability—the business and community advisory and
possible. Most Yapese, when asked, responded that a         legal services—to initiate and develop such partnerships.
public-private partnership between an outside investor
                                                                                                                       139

                                                                      Tourism is an important potential growth industry
Background and Rationale
                                                                 for the Pacific islands. While tourism is itself highly
of the Study                                                     dependent upon a largely undisturbed and appealing
                                                                 environment and ecosystem, it also creates a huge
     The Asian Development Bank (ADB is formulating              burden on the often-fragile Pacific island ecosystems.
a Pacific Region Environmental Strategy (PRES) that              Its development is therefore inextricably interlaced
reviews major environmental challenges in the Pacific            with issues of the sustainable management of natural
region and defines strategic objectives, guidelines, and         resources, including traditional aspects of such
activities for ADB’s assistance to its Pacific developing        management, their integration with modern
country members (PDMCs). The purpose of the PRES is              management methods, and the complex land tenure
to make environmentally sustainable development a                systems involved.
priority in the PDMCs and to ensure that assistance from
ADB to its members will move development in that                      Public-private partnerships offer a means to involve
direction. As part of this review, ADB has supported             traditional systems in the development of tourism. More
several case studies of discrete issues in the practice of       important, they may be the only means for tourism
environmental planning and management in the Pacific             development to coexist with traditional systems of land
region. One of these is a field study in Yap State,              tenure and right-to-use aspects of traditional resource
Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) to observe                  management.
traditional approaches to the management of natural
resources and their relationship to modern resource                  Both public-private partnerships and traditional
management and to the development of tourism. It is              approaches to natural resource management are key to
intended that this study contribute to the PRES guidelines       the development of integrated natural resource
for environmental sustainability and be of general use           management policies and strategies that can be
to other PDMCs.                                                  effectively mainstreamed into overall development
                                                                 policies and strategies for a sustainable future. While
    Understanding the interaction of traditional and             each Pacific island group has different cultural
contemporary approaches to natural resource manage-              imperatives and conditions, the island cultures have
ment is critical with the continuing shift in Yap away           sufficient in common through geographic conditions,
from traditional values and approaches. Traditional              ethnic origins, and other factors that conclusions and
approaches have evolved over centuries, and while they           recommendations drawn from one island nation should
do not always fit entirely with contemporary economies           have general replicability for policy and strategy across
and objectives, they can often make a significant contri-        the region.
bution in combination with contemporary approaches.
At a minimum, modern developers should understand                     It is appropriate to undertake an examination of the
them so as to avoid serious conflicts. The most valuable         implications of traditional systems of natural resource
and efficient solution, however, is likely to be one in          management on development in the tourism sector
which the traditional approaches can be integrated               because a number of Pacific island countries derive a
into comprehensive policies and approaches for                   major portion of their foreign exchange from tourism,
environmentally sustainable development.                         and many more are looking to tourism as their economic
                                                                 growth sector for the future. Most of the tourism is based
     It is also important and timely to examine the              on the use of coastal resources and has the potential for
effectiveness of public-private partnerships or other            significantly impacting on fragile coastal ecosystems and
forms of cooperation. Worldwide, they are increasingly           on the traditional uses and access to the coastal aquatic
relied upon for achieving sustainable development in             resources.
lieu of strict regulatory approaches, and it is increasingly
difficult to rely on either public or private resources              The comprehensive and integrated approach of this
exclusively. This is a global trend and it is useful to          study responds effectively to the mandate of the World
understand how such partnerships have worked in the              Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) that small
past and could work better in the future in the Pacific          island states require immediate action to alleviate
island cultures.                                                 environmental impacts while improving community

                                                               PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
140

quality of life and establishing a strong and credible       other, and how they can be better integrated in the future
economic base. The analysis is designed to lead to a         for more sustainable environmental management.
more achievable strategy to integrate traditional and
contemporary approaches to environmental manage-                  The study also examines and contrasts the
ment and to promote beneficial public-private                traditional natural resource management systems (such
partnerships in economic development, facilitating           as restricted rights to the use of land and marine
achievement of WSSD objectives.                              resources) with the concepts of resource management
                                                             that have been employed by the state government. The
                                                             analysis further examines how the traditional and
                                                             modern approaches may have conflicted with or
The Study
                                                             complemented each other and how they can be better
                                                             integrated in the future for more effective environmental
Objective and Scope                                          management. Conclusions are drawn about the
                                                             implications of the study’s findings for efforts to
      The objectives of the study are to evaluate            mainstream environmental considerations into national,
                                                             state, and sector development plans, policies, and
  •      how traditional systems have played a role          programs in Yap and the other PDMCs.
         in natural resource management and in
         development,                                             The analysis is designed to help ADB and the Yapese
  •      how traditional systems might be productively       organizations and agencies to better understand
         integrated with contemporary approaches to          traditional and modern approaches to development and
         resource management, and                            resource management and the interaction of public and
  •      how public-private partnerships have been           private interests. The recommendations for achieving
         employed in the development of tourism              more effective collaboration and integration of the
         destinations in a Pacific island nation and could   different approaches provide broadly replicable guidance
         be employed in future development.                  to ADB for inclusion in the PRES and for mainstreaming
                                                             policy and strategy for environmentally sustainable
      The purpose of the study is to generate recom-         development.
mendations to ADB that will contribute to the PRES and
its guidelines for achieving the environmental               Methodology and Implementation
sustainability of future assistance to PDMCs.
                                                                  A wide range of individuals in Yap was interviewed
     The study uses primarily personal interviews to         for the study. This list includes the managers of the
examine the decision-making processes employed for           tourism destinations concerned and those who may have
the development of four tourism hotels. Two are small,       direct knowledge of the decision processes and issues
locally owned facilities using traditional island design,    that were involved in their establishment. However, since
and two are somewhat larger, more complex, and               the study involves broad issues of traditional versus
internationally or expatriate-owned and -operated            modern approaches to the management of natural
facilities. The research inquires whether public-private     resources, and the efficacy and appropriateness of
partnerships or cooperation were achieved in these           public-private partnerships within the context of the
developments, and if so, where problems were                 Yapese culture, a much wider range of individuals was
encountered. Finally, comments are presented on how          interviewed than just those dealing with tourism. The
such partnerships can be promoted and better integrated      full list is shown as Appendix 1.
into future development and management of natural
resources.                                                        Relevant documents such as the Constitution of Yap,
                                                             the State Code of law, established and pending
    Through the same interview process, the study            legislation, and various plans and conference reports
examines the traditional methods of natural resource         were reviewed to gain their relevant information. The
management, how the traditional and modern state             full list is presented in the References. However, the
approaches have conflicted with or complemented each         culture of Yap is one of verbal history, and beyond the
                                                                                                                        141

relatively recently written legal code and regulations,             •      Have policies and strategies for development
much that is understood and widely observed by its                         incorporated traditional approaches?
citizens is not written. Very little in the manner of policy        •      What are the state government policies,
or economic or political direction is written. While most                  incentives, and marketing strategies to attract
Yapese would agree on many issues or values, it is                         new investors in tourism?
usually not possible to find those points in written form.          •      Do present policies and strategies encourage
The study therefore depends heavily on information                         and create conditions favorable to public-private
collected in interviews and in informal discussion.                        partnership and collaboration in development?

Issues                                                                  Tourism Development Process


     The collection of information centered on a set of             •      What are the present processes, procedures, and
key issues, each of which translates in interviews into a                  permitting and licensing requirements for the
set of questions that vary according to the situation. The                 development of a tourism destination?
issue areas and specific questions include the following:           •      What were the processes in place at the time of
                                                                           the development of the facilities examined in the
      Vision                                                               study, and did they incorporate traditional
                                                                           approaches?
  •      What are the long-term interests and objectives            •      Were the procedures followed and did problems
         of the FSM National Government that will have                     occur?
         impacts on the development of Yap?                         •      Were public-private partnerships involved, and
  •      What are the interests and objectives of the state                what problems were encountered?
         government of Yap with regard to sustainable               •      How did the development process for small-
         management of natural resources?                                  scale facilities contrast with that for larger
  •      What are the interests and objectives of the                      facilities in issues encountered?
         traditional leaders of Yap with regard to sus-
         tainable management of natural resources?                      Conflicts and Synergy
  •      What are the interests and objectives of the
         tourism industry of Yap with regard to                     •      Overall, how have traditional approaches to
         sustainable management of natural resources?                      management of natural resources conflicted
                                                                           with contemporary approaches?
      Resource Management Approaches                                •      How can they be integrated into and be
                                                                           supportive of contemporary approaches?
  •      What is the relationship of the traditional leaders        •      How do public and private interests conflict, and
         to the state government?                                          how can they best work together for mutual
  •      How have traditional leaders managed the use                      benefit?
         of natural resources?
  •      What approaches does the state government use                  Recommendations
         to manage the natural resources sustainably?
  •      Have there been conflicts between traditional              •      What policies and strategies can help to promote
         and modern approaches, and if so how have they                    and create the conditions necessary to beneficial
         been resolved?                                                    integration of traditional approaches with
                                                                           contemporary approaches for environmentally
      Resource and Development Policies                                    sustainable development, especially in the
                                                                           tourism industry?
  •      What are the present state policies and strategies         •      What policies and strategies can help to
         for economic development?                                         promote and create the conditions necessary
  •      What are the present state policies and                           to the use of public-private partnerships for
         regulations as they affect environmental and                      environmentally sustainable development?
         resource conservation in development?

                                                               PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
142

  •      What can ADB do in technical assistance and in           Present economic concerns include large-scale
         guidance for lending to assure environmental         unemployment, overfishing, and overdependence on US
         sustainability in the development it supports in     aid. FSM economic activity consists primarily of
         the Pacific island countries?                        subsistence farming and fishing. The islands have few
                                                              mineral deposits worth exploiting except for high-grade
      The findings and resultant analysis and recom-          phosphate. The potential for more tourist industry exists,
mendations are largely a synthesis of the answers             but the remote location and a lack of adequate facilities
received to the above questions from the more than 50         and transportation hinder development. In 1996, the
individuals interviewed in Yap.                               country experienced a 20% reduction in revenues from
                                                              the Compact of Free Association, the agreement with
                                                              the US in which Micronesia received $1.3 billion in
                                                              financial and technical assistance over a 15-year period
Findings and Analysis
                                                              ending in 2001. Since these payments accounted for 57%
                                                              of consolidated government revenues, reduced Compact
Background and Observations                                   funding resulted in a severe depression. Economic
                                                              activity started to recover in 1999–2001.
      Federated States of Micronesia
                                                                  The country’s medium-term economic outlook is
     The FSM comprises the four island group states of        fragile due to possible further reductions by the US in
Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae, and the 1 million-plus       external grants under the next round of funding for the
square miles (mi2) of ocean surrounding the islands           Compact. Geographic isolation and a poorly developed
(Figure 1). The total land area of FSM is 207 mi2 extending   infrastructure remain major impediments to long-term
1,700 miles from west (Yap) to east (Kosrae). The 133         growth. However, a satisfactory outcome to negotiations
mi2 island of Pohnpei is the largest in the FSM and home      for renewal of the Compact will provide a basis for future
of the country’s capital, Palikir. The total population of    development if wisely utilized.
FSM was estimated in July 2002 at 135,869.
                                                                  State of Yap
      In 1979, the Federated States of Micronesia, then
still the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific            The traditional name of Yap is “Waab”. In the
Islands (TTPI) under US administration, adopted a             traditional language “yap” means the oar of a boat. When
constitution and in 1986 independence was attained            the first European trading ship came to the island the
under a Compact of Free Association with the US in            sailors asked the name of the island, pointing down at
which the latter provides national defense and                the water. The islanders thought they were pointing at
substantial grant funds. The FSM is currently                 the oars of their boat and answered: “Yap.”
renegotiating the Compact with the US for an additional
20 years. The FSM is a member of the World Bank, the               Located in the Western Carolines, about midway
International Monetary Fund, and ADB.                         between Guam and Palau, Yap State comprises a tightly
                                                              clustered group of four volcanic islands: Yap, Gagil-
    Principal sources of revenue for the FSM are US           Tomil, Maap, and Rumung, which together with ten
payments, government work, fisheries, tourism, and            smaller islands are surrounded by a coral reef. These
subsistence agriculture. Present per capita gross             with another 19 inhabited outer islands and 115
domestic product (GDP) is about $2,000. FSM annual            uninhabited islands and atolls give a total land area for
exports are $22 million (f.o.b., FY1999/2000) consisting      the state of 46 mi2. Two thirds of the estimated 12,000
primarily of fish, garments, bananas, and black pepper.       population of Yap State live on Yap Island, whose land
Its principal trading partners are Japan, the US, and         area is about 25 mi2. Other islands with substantial land
especially Guam. Annual imports are $149 million (f.o.b.,     area and populations include Ulithi, Fais, Woleai, Ngulu,
FY1999/2000), leaving a substantial balance of payments       Satawal, Sorol, Lamotrek, Sowol, and Eauripik. Only the
deficit that is largely covered by US payments under the      first three have regular air service. Yap State includes a
Compact and by tourism.                                       vast oceanic territory.
                                                                                                                          143

     Yap’s capital and center of business and government          under the three paramount villages and leaders of the
is Colonia, a small town with a population of about 1,000,        entire island, and they convened other leaders as needed,
situated along the waterfront and around a bay.                   depending on the issue and the relationships.

    Government                                                         The councils are intended to be the communications
                                                                  link between the state government and the traditional
     Yap is one of four states in the FSM, and within the         leaders and communities. The original intent for the COP
federation, Yap State is a constitutional democracy with          was that senior traditional leaders, one from each of the
great independence to set its own policies and                    10 municipalities, would sit on the Council. While this is
operations. The mainland has 10 municipalities and the            still the case for the COT for the outer islands, the COP
outer islands are grouped into two island groups.                 has evolved so that many of the representatives are not
                                                                  themselves traditional leaders but are chosen from the
     The Yap State Legislature has 10 representatives,            municipality to represent the community. Some of the
called senators. Six are elected at large from the main           representatives may themselves have weak regard for
island of Yap and four are elected from districts that            the authority or value of the traditional system.
include the 19 outer islands. The senators are elected
for a 4-year term, as is the governor.                                The COP is intended as a force to work with the
                                                                  other organizations to preserve the traditional system,
      The senators have no term limit but the governor is         but the Council is somewhat ineffectual, has no clear
limited to two terms. Normally the senators are opposed           mission, and many of the representatives actually do not
in elections, but equally normally they are reelected until       know the traditional system very well. The Council
they decide to retire. Most senators are from mid-caste           discusses primarily modern issues and what the governor
villages and most have been traditional leaders. The              asks them to discuss. Communities feel that some of
most recent election in January of 2003 was the first time        the representatives do not return often enough to their
more than one candidate ran for governor.                         municipalities to inform the community and to ask for
                                                                  advice and the wishes of the people.
     The preamble to the Constitution of Yap recognizes
traditional heritage and community life as the foundation             The municipality is a new geopolitical construct,
of Yapese society and commits the government to                   created by the colonial powers. The municipality
integrate modern institutions and technology with                 boundaries often do not coincide with the traditional
traditional ways so as to realize prosperity and welfare          areas of responsibility of the traditional leaders. As noted
for all. The Constitution establishes the Council of              above, many of the representatives in the COP are not
Pilung (COP) for the traditional leaders from the main            the apparent traditional leaders. But the senior traditional
islands and the Council of Tamol (COT) for the                    leader may not be the person who has the traditional
traditional leaders from the outer islands. These two             responsibility to represent the area of the municipality
councils constitute a fourth branch of government, in             to other villages. The issue is so complicated that some
addition to the executive, legislative, and judicial              traditional leaders find it easier to let the municipality
branches. Yap is the only one of the four states of FSM           select another person. Moreover, many of the traditional
with this fourth branch of government. The councils do            leaders are old and do not want to go to the city and
not pass legislation but they must be consulted on any            deal with the issues of the Council.
legislation that affects the communities, the traditional
culture, the traditional leaders, or traditional rights. They          Legal and Justice System
can veto proposed legislation and have done so on one
occasion.                                                               Micronesia Legal Services Corporation is a
                                                                  nonprofit organization with offices in each state,
    The councils were created by the present                      providing free legal counsel and services to those who
Constitution and do not represent a traditional forum.            cannot otherwise afford them. It is supported by both
However, other forms of council have existed that                 local sources and by the Legal Services Corporation of
brought the regions and the villages together as needed           the US, which in turn receives a US government grant to
to discuss and resolve issues. The system was structured          help provide the support.

                                                                PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
144

     The national legal system is small and cannot carry       community as to how to manage growth while
a heavy load of cases. There are only three state justices,    simultaneously protecting the environment.
one of whom has been ill for some time. All criminal
cases are tried in the national courts. There is strong             The export of manufactured garments earns the
pressure, however, for civil matters to be settled in the      largest part of Yap’s foreign exchange (other than from
traditional way in the village, in the municipality council,   the Compact), totaling 82% of exports in 2001. Yap vies
or in the municipal courts. The family structure is            with Palau as the world’s largest exporter of betel nut,
becoming weaker as the traditional system weakens and          which in the same year represented 15% of exports. Small
the modern system dominates, so domestic issues and            amounts of marine and agricultural products and
civil disputes over land ownership are growing. They           handicrafts make up the balance of exports.
are, however, mostly still resolved in the community.
                                                                   The practical economic development policies of Yap
     The representative to the COP is automatically the        emphasize increasing exports of specialty agricultural
presiding justice for the municipal court, and he selects      products and oceanic marine products such as tuna, light
two other persons, often other traditional leaders, to         manufacture such as garments and value-added
make up a panel of three justices to hear cases in the         assembly, and the expansion of tourism, especially high-
municipal court. Neither the Council representative nor        end ecotourism.
the two others locally selected usually has training in
the law, so they depend on what is sometimes a weak                Present economic development goals, strategies,
understanding of the traditional system to settle civil        and objectives for the state of Yap were set out in a
claims. The advantage is that cases are usually settled        communiqué of the State government following the First
quickly on simple evidence rather than being drawn out         Yap State Economic and Social Summit in 1996 (Yap
into complex litigation. Most cases in the municipal           State Government 1996). The overall goal is that Yap
courts concern disputes over land borders and                  State should be a self-sustaining economy and society.
inheritance.                                                   The report of the Summit indicates that this goal reflects
                                                               the type of society that Yap wishes to achieve and should
     Only one private firm of attorneys operates in Yap—       be kept constantly in mind as decisions are made about
Mulalap & Mulalap—and Yap State has refused                    the use of state resources.
applications from others to establish legal practices in
Yap. There is a State Office of the Public Defender that           The objectives and strategies focus on reducing
provides legal services for those who are brought before       reliance on external aid funds through achieving greater
the criminal courts.                                           efficiency in the public sector operations, diversifying
                                                               sources of external funding and investment, and
      Economic Development                                     increasing the size and competitiveness of the private
                                                               sector. The latter is to be accomplished through policy
     Yap State’s GDP, adjusted for inflation, declined 3%      reform, improved efficiency of land use, and investments
in FY2002 because of the drop in the flow of funds from        in human resource development, especially in health and
the Compact of Free Association with the US. Inflation-        formal and informal education.
adjusted GDP for FY2003 is forecast to grow by 0.9%. Of
the four states in FSM, Yap has been the most prudent in            The Summit endorsed the objective of sustainability
the use of its share of Compact funds and has been able        of development, with special emphasis on management
to save funds to provide a basis for some near-term            of the physical environment to provide the resources for
infrastructure development.                                    continuing production to generate livelihoods for the
                                                               people of Yap. It emphasizes the importance of
      Yap has enjoyed only limited investment and growth       preservation, enhancement, and respect for the rich
in tourism, but it is considered internationally one of        traditional culture as providing the social cohesiveness
the finer destinations for Scuba diving. The environmental     essential to human progress.
conditions remain relatively good, though some
problems are starting to emerge and some division has               The report of the Summit contains detailed sections
arisen within the government and the stakeholder               on status, objectives and proposed actions on topics such
                                                                                                                     145

as agriculture, commerce and industry, education, health       controlled and are not so sustainable. Findings and
services, marine resources (focusing on the promotion          recommendations from the analysis of tourism
of commercial fishing), tourism, transportation and            development and concerning the integration of
infrastructure, and government reform and downsizing.          traditional and modern management of natural
It includes only a limited statement of goals and values       resources in Yap should therefore be broadly relevant
for the environment and sustainable development,               and applicable throughout the Pacific region.
however, and with no practical details as to what should
be done. It states that a failure to conserve the natural           Traditional Culture
resources will undermine the culture, and that the
government of Yap should take the lead in protecting                Yapese society has a caste or rank system
the environment. There is no mention, however, of the          comprising seven levels that are based on the rank of
traditional management of resources or suggestion of           the village. People are recognized and respected
collaboration between modern government and the                according to their village. Each person is named after
traditional system.                                            an ancestor, which ties that person to a certain piece of
                                                               property. Every group of islands within the Yapese society
     While the overall resource and development policies       has its own unique cultural identity and customs.
of Yap do not actually address the issues of incorporating     Traditional life remains strong in the villages where
traditional resource management into the development           fishing and weaving are still important parts of everyday
process, in stressing the importance of the preservation       life. Grass skirts for women and thu’us, a type of
of both the resources and traditional culture they create      loincloth, for men are still seen as basic clothing in the
a policy environment that should be hospitable to such         villages, although today western clothes and styles are
incorporation. Clearly it is not hostile to such concepts.     becoming more popular in use and are pervasive for the
It remains to the government, however, to take the             younger generation in school.
initiative to bridge the gap of understanding with the
traditional leaders to incorporate their management                 Dance is an art form in Yap. Through dance, legends
approaches into the dynamics of the development                are passed down, history is recorded, and entertainment
process.                                                       is created. The dances of Yap are often raucous and
                                                               always colorful and well orchestrated. Both men and
     Similarly, the present resource and development           women start at an early age to learn this special Yap
policies of Yap do not address or specifically promote         tradition.
the possible use of various types of public-private
partnerships in the development process. However, in                Most Yapese live in their home villages located
stressing the importance of traditional systems and the        outside of Colonia. Villages retain many features that
community, they establish conditions hospitable to the         have remained for centuries, such as stone pathways
use of such partnerships. The very traditional culture         and clan platforms. A major part of the tourism appeal
itself is the most powerful force encouraging such             of Yap is that it retains many of its traditional
partnerships. Despite individual rights to the use of          characteristics. The stone paths wind through lush jungle
resources, the overall benefit of the natural resources is     and picturesque food-producing landscapes of tree
considered to belong to the community. Therefore the           gardens and taro patch systems.
community and the individual owners are both logical
participants in any venture or development that uses the            Most of the islands east of Yap are coral atolls and
resources. The concern of the traditional system with          are sparsely populated by a people different from the
the stewardship of the resources should intrinsically          Yapese in culture and language. Four indigenous
serve to promote more environmentally sound                    languages are spoken. These are Yapese, Ulithian,
investments and generally sustainable development.             Woleaian, and Satawalese. English is the official
                                                               language and the state government is conducted in
    The State of Yap is not very different from many           English, though some local government organizations
other Pacific island countries, in that it has a pervasive     still conduct business in the Yapese language. Some of
concern for sustainable development, but sometimes             the older generation of Yapese can speak Japanese from
actual development programs are poorly designed and            the long period of Japanese administration. Traditional

                                                             PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
146

Yapese was not a written language and has only been            subject to the guidance or limitation of the traditional
written phonetically in recent years.                          leader, who has responsibility for stewardship of the
                                                               resource.
     Because of its remote position, Yap was minimally
affected when the Spanish colonized Micronesia in the               While an individual can “own” land and water
1500s, and again during German occupation from the             inside the reef, the owner does not have full authority
end of the 1800s to the beginning of World War I. The          over the use of that resource, as the traditional leader
pre-World War II Japanese administration had more of a         for the area has authority to approve or disapprove how
direct impact. By Micronesian and even by Pacific              the land or water is used. Because the leadership culture
standards, Yap remains relatively unaffected by the            and the land tenure are so complex, foreign investors
modern world.                                                  may become confused when they need to speak to the
                                                               “chief” of an area because they want a decision on use
     There are several institutions in Yap committed to        of land or water resources. The person to whom the
the preservation of the history and traditional culture of     investors speak may be only one of a number of
Yap. The Historic Preservation Office (HPO), supported         traditional leaders for the area, probably the one
by both the government and private contributions,              responsible for contact outside the community, and it
maintains a library of historical documents and is             may later evolve that they have not sufficiently
translating old documents written in early Yapese              consulted everyone necessary, especially not those with
languages that have been almost lost. The Bechiyal             the real authority.
Cultural Center continues the traditional architecture and
boat building skills of Yap through its founder Tamag, a            The role of traditional leader is normally hereditary,
traditional leader and master architect and boat builder       but not always. The role can be earned, especially if the
of Yap, and Kadai Village where the history and                incumbent traditional leader has no appropriate
traditional art forms of Yap are presented to the public       successor, in which case a successor is appointed by
in a setting of traditional architecture.                      consensus in the community.


      Traditional Leadership                                        The traditional leader positions are inherited
                                                               through the father, but the more important bloodline is
    In the traditional culture of Yap, a geographic area       matrilineal. Women have very limited authority and are
does not normally have a single traditional leader or          not seen by men as equals: women are not allowed to
“chief.” The concept of a paramount chief or leader is         fish, for example. And yet the aunt names the children
one imposed by a succession of colonial powers that            and the name is connected to ownership of land, so the
wished to deal with a single leader with full authority.       women effectively control the inheritance of land. It is
The village and family structure has complex hierarchies,      an extremely complex system of balances that is not truly
and for any single village and its lands, multiple leaders,    either patrilineal or matrilineal, patriarchal or
of differing ranks, have specific cultural and operational     matriarchal.
responsibilities and authorities over different parts of the
community (young men vs. women vs. old people) and                  The main island of Yap is divided into 10
different functional areas (taro growing vs. grassy shore      municipalities and each municipality may have as many
area vs. open lagoon area). One of the leaders, not            as 100 villages. Each village and municipality has its own
necessarily the most senior, will have responsibility for      structure of traditional leaders, normally 3 at the lowest
the stewardship of the land; another will be responsible       level, up to 10 at the highest level. There is a village
for stewardship of the water or marine resources.              rank system of low-, medium-, and high-caste villages,
                                                               with a total of seven subcategories. An individual is
    While some of the land or water may be held                normally considered to be of the rank of his village, but
communally, most is owned by an individual or family           he may have linkages to a higher rank. A village can
and the right to the use of an area of land or water is        move up in the ranking. Originally, vertical movement
inherited in an equally complex hybrid matrilineal/            was accomplished by defeating (or being defeated by) a
patrilineal system. While the “owner” enjoys the               higher-ranking village, but the Germans stopped all
exclusive use of the resource, the nature of that use is       warfare in the 18th century.
                                                                                                                       147

     A person of low rank is usually a farmer or                     The owner has the inherent right to take enough
fisherman; the higher ranks have responsibility for his         for the welfare of his own family, but more extensive
welfare, putting his interest above their own because           use, such as fishing by net or extensive agriculture for
they depend on the product of his work. As one goes up          community use or sale, is subject to the decision of the
the scale to higher rank, one normally has fewer personal       traditional leader. This stewardship was exercised
rights to land and water and does less physical work            traditionally to make certain that there was sufficient
such as planting and fishing, but one has wider authority       food for the community as a whole, since not everyone
and responsibility. The culture constantly seeks overall        and not all villages had immediate access to sources of
balance between authority and responsibility.                   food. That particular aspect of leadership was exercised
                                                                within a larger complex of leaders (some of whom were
       Yap has three paramount villages (Ngolog in Rull,        not at all concerned about natural resources), but that
Teb in Tomil, and Gachpar in Gagil) whose senior leaders        is what served indirectly to manage natural resources
are considered the three paramount leaders of mainland          sustainably.
(i.e., the main island of) Yap.
                                                                     Because of its importance, land has been repeatedly
    As part of the system of multiple and specialized           divided through inheritance, until most of it is in small
leadership roles, decisions are normally taken                  parcels. Less than 10% of the land in Yap has been
consensually through community discussion, from which           surveyed and titled. There are many disputes over
the responsible leader gauges the consensus and                 boundaries, and because several persons may be named
announces it as the decision of the community. The              as owners, it is often difficult to title the land. Tourism
Yapese culture is very nonconfrontational, and it is often      facilities have thus far been built on small footprints of
difficult for individuals to speak their opinion.               land owned by the entrepreneur or on land in Colonia
                                                                that is or was owned by the state. Future development
     Decisions are taken for the overall welfare of the         of tourism, especially dispersed ecotourism, will face
community, whether at the village or regional level. In         significant barriers in acquiring access to large
the past, much of the work was done communally (e.g.,           aggregations of land in a manner that will be acceptable
fishing and repairing fish traps and nets, building boats       to investors. Foreigners and foreign corporations are not
or houses, and repairing the stone paths that connected         normally allowed to own land in Yap.
communities). There was ample opportunity for members
of the community to slowly discuss issues, and usually a             Land tenure is a critical issue both in inheritance
consensus would emerge without confrontation. This              and in development in the modern economy. The FSM
would include such issues as opening new land for               Development Bank can accept untitled land as collateral
cultivation, or fishing with nets, or working the               for a loan if the note is signed by the traditional leader
community taro patch.                                           of the municipality and by that of the village and by the
                                                                apparent senior landowner (several family members may
    Land Tenure                                                 be considered to be the owners of the land in a hierarchy
                                                                of succession). But it is difficult to use traditional land
     Land tenure is extremely complex and has significant       as collateral and land tenure problems have in the past
implications for the future management of natural               stopped the issuance of loans for business development.
resources. With certain exceptions for community land,
individuals own all areas of land or water within the reef.         Even with three levels of endorsement on untitled
The person’s name is connected to the land (or water)           land as collateral for a loan, it is doubtful that a bank
and it is inconceivable for a man not to own land, for he       could actually take possession of the land if the loan
would then have no name. The aunt of a male child gives         were in default. The bank would do absolutely everything
the child his name, determining the inheritance of land,        it could to solve the problem and to resuscitate the
and more than one person in an extended family may be           project rather than try to possess the collateral. Even
named for a piece of land. They are each then owners of         with titled land as collateral, the bank would try to do
the land, each waiting his turn to be the prevailing owner.     the same rather than try to foreclose on the collateral.
Only the owners of the land or water have the right to          The entire concept of land as collateral is very
take resources from the area (e.g., to fish or farm).           questionable in Yap, and this could be a significant

                                                              PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
148

barrier for a foreign investor in acquiring foreign debt         managing natural resources and the importance of
financing.                                                       preserving the environment, but they do not go into detail
                                                                 about how the traditional natural resource management
     A partnership relationship between an investor and          system works. More detail may be in the curricula of
the community could help to overcome the land title/             higher grades still to be produced.
tenure issue. The relationship would need to be worked
out carefully as to how the community is involved, as                 Most teachers are relatively young and not expert
the landowner has the last word on how the land is used.         in the traditional system, so it is difficult for them to teach
The FSM Development Bank would favorably consider                about it convincingly. In some instances, a traditional
a loan application from a partnership between an                 leader from the community is asked to talk to the
investor and a community.                                        students about the traditional system.

      Education                                                      Language has been a significant problem in the
                                                                 development of the state of Yap. Everyone on the main
     On the mainland of Yap are 10 secondary schools             island of Yap can understand one other in Yapese,
of grades 1–8, one school of grades 1–4 and one of grades        although differences occur in traditional pronunciation.
5–8, and all populated outer islands have an eight-year          But the outer islands have three other language groups,
secondary school. One public high school and one                 each of which is different enough from Yapese—and from
private (Seventh Day Adventist) high school grades               one another—that when the COT meets they converse
9–12 are located on Yap mainland and there are high              in English in order to be mutually understood.
schools on two of the outer islands, Ulithi and Woleai.
                                                                      The educational system has a difficult problem
     Instruction in the first 4 years is entirely in the local   balancing between wanting to preserve the traditional
language (which for the outer islands is different from          Yapese and outer-island languages, while also needing
Yapese). In years 5 and 6, English is introduced and the         to promote English for efficiency; ease of access to
curriculum becomes progressively in English, with                information, tourism, and trade; and for minimizing
substantially all instruction in English from grade 7 up.        production costs of educational materials.
Yapese is not traditionally a written language, so all
written materials tend to be in English. This trend toward       Natural Resource Management
school curricula conducted entirely in English risks losing
skills in Yapese, and thereby knowledge in the traditional            Traditional Systems of Resource Management
system.
                                                                      Throughout the Pacific, people have been discussing
      It is difficult to separate language from culture. A       for years how to preserve traditional systems of natural
alternative approach being considered would be to                resource management. The Micronesian Traditional
introduce English very early in school for practical             Leadership Conferences held in Koror in 1999 and in
purposes, but also to retain Yapese or outer-island              Pohnpei in 2002 emphasized this point. No clear
vernacular as a subject, with some cultural materials            solutions to the issue have emerged, however, and
taught in the vernacular throughout the grades in order          resolutions have been very broad, with no direction as
to preserve the language.                                        to how such preservation should be accomplished.

    At all levels there is a component called living arts,          The traditional system of natural resource
which includes materials on the traditional culture,             management is an extension of the very complex
including such subjects as traditional ways of fishing and       systems of traditional leadership, community
agriculture. The education system is gradually producing         cohesiveness, and land ownership. No specific objective
new instruction materials from the lower grades up, one          seems to appear in the traditional system of managing
year each year (Yap State Government 2003a, 2003b),              the natural resources, other than to assure a sufficient
and is presently revising grade 7. The new curricula             supply of food and shelter for the community. However,
increase the emphasis on the traditional values and on           the consensual manner in which community decisions
understanding the traditional ways of living, including          were made and the ownership and authority patterns
                                                                                                                         149

over the land and marine areas served to limit who could             The manner in which the oversight authority is
use the resources and how they could be used to meet a           exercised is equally varied. A great variety of rules and
complex of community needs and obligations. Moreover,            restrictions has served to protect specific resources. For
the technology available was such that, within the               example, in the traditional system on Yap, only the high-
traditional ownership and use systems, the resources             caste villages are permitted to eat sea turtle and the
could not be easily depleted and marine populations and          lower-caste villages ate fruit bats. As there were far fewer
land fertility remained stable. It was not necessary to          high-caste villages, this served to maintain the
plan for the management of natural resources, and such           population of sea turtles, which with the weakening of
planning was not part of the traditional culture.                traditional restrictions are now almost gone. In another
                                                                 such rule, the land crabs that are considered a delicacy
    In the outlying islands, three broad patterns of             can only be taken when the wind blows from the west,
control and management of the natural resources exist.           during the season when storms make fishing too
On Ulithi atoll, all reef and lagoon areas belong to the         hazardous and fish are in short supply. This use of the
highest-ranking clan, whose chief is the paramount               crabs as a reserve food has stabilized both the diet of
leader of the atoll. The marine areas are divided among          the islanders and the population of crabs.
the clans, however, for purposes of the rights to use the
resources. Members of a clan can fish within the area of              The people still hold the power and authority over
their clan at any time.                                          the use of the resources they need through community
                                                                 cohesiveness supported by traditional leadership. This is
    On Woleai Atoll, however, no paramount leader has            why it is important to engage the traditional leaders in
authority over the entire atoll; the ownership of the reef       addressing the issues, to reaffirm their responsibility to
and lagoon is divided among the villages and the right           care for the interests of the people—as well as their
to use the resources is then divided among the clans in          authority to do so—and to give them the knowledge and
a village. The head of each clan controls the use of its         the resources with which to take an active role again.
own areas, including determining if the reef should be
closed. Individuals can fish within their own clan’s area             Management of Marine Resources
at any time.
                                                                     The most powerful single impact on marine
    A third form of tenure and usage rights is found on          resources has been the introduction of the small-mesh
Satawal Atoll, where the leaders of three ranking clans          monofilament nylon net that has made fishing so easy
divide the authority and responsibilities for the                that fish stocks inside the reef of Yap main island are
management of the island. One of these three is                  being decimated. The advent of the outboard motor has
designated as the chief of the sea and controls the use          also contributed to this technological nightmare. While
of all marine resources. While the use of the fringing           no scientifically recorded data are available on changes
reef is open to anyone, the chief’s permission is required       in fisheries resources, it is widely agreed that yields
for the use of the food resources of all other marine areas.     are steadily decreasing and that some species have
                                                                 almost entirely disappeared. The traditional leaders
     The structure of the land and water tenure system           recognize that there is a serious problem, but the
(ownership versus right to use the resource) and the             traditional system of stewardship seems unprepared to
authority over management of the natural resource vary           deal with these issues stemming from modern
significantly from mainland Yap to the outlying islands,         technology.
and even within clans and municipalities on Yap
mainland. Overall, however, some oversight by a senior                The change from traditional to more modern
leader always affects the way the marine or land resource        methods of fishing, often for commercial purposes, has
is used, and that leader is responsible to the community         placed enormous and widespread pressures on the fish
as a whole to assure that the resource is used in a manner       stocks. A survey by the Marine Resources Management
that ensures the welfare of the community as a whole.            Division (MRMD) in 1987 reported that the use of
While the term “sustainability” is foreign, the basic            motorboats had increased by 22% in a decade, and that
concept is part of the fabric of the traditional tenure and      7 out of 10 households in Yap owned spear guns and gill
management authority system.                                     nets. The report further indicated that 91% of villages

                                                               PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
150

participate in night spear fishing and 72% participate in         periods of time for the purpose of sustainable
gill-net fishing.                                                 management of the marine resources.


      On the main island of Yap, a growing problem is                  In the outlying islands, the management of marine
the illegal entry of individuals into waters to fish, including   resources has remained continuously under local
frequent night fishing with gill nets or with lights and spear    traditional control, even through the several colonial
guns. Small-scale commercial fishing in the lagoons of            occupations, and remains now generally stronger than
the main island is also increasing. Fishing for commercial        on the mainland of Yap. Traditional systems of marine
purposes is a relatively recent phenomenon (post-World            tenure, fishing rights, catch distribution, and punishment
War II). Traditional leaders are considerably concerned,          of offenses are still usually observed. Most outer islands
as it circumvents the traditional distribution system for         are a single community and no adjacent communities
the catch; encourages excessive, often wasteful fishing;          or clans have disagreements about landownership or
and depletes fish stocks. The commercial exportation of           the use of resources. Community cohesiveness and
fish is an even greater concern.                                  traditions remain more nearly intact.


     Less commercial fishing and less illegal fishing                  Everywhere, both on the main island and on the
occur in the outer islands. Less opportunity exists there,        outlying islands of Yap, the traditional systems of marine
but the situation also reflects the greater concern of the        resource management have been increasingly weakened
outer-island traditional leaders over the sustainability          by new political, economic, religious, and educational
of the fishing yield, on which they are more dependent.           systems. Many residents adopted Christianity following
Some actions taken on some of the outlying islands reflect        World War II, following which a number of cultural
this concern and illustrate ways in which the stewardship         restrictions on the use of marine resources were lifted,
authority of the traditional leaders is implemented.              and this, plus the entry of many people into the cash
Leaders of many of the outlying islands have banned the           economy, has weakened the traditional controls. As a
use of monofilament gill nets, recognizing that they              result, the traditional leaders have been increasingly
would change the way net fishing is done, from a                  unable to regulate the use of either marine or terrestrial
communal to an individual or small group activity, and            resources in the sustainable manner that they once did.
that their use would result in overfishing. Spearfishing          Weakened traditional authority and loss of community
with lights has also been banned in many of the outlying          cohesion make it difficult to stop widespread poaching
islands as a method that would allow reef fish to be              of individual fishing rights, and technological changes
overharvested. On Woleai Atoll, an area outside the atoll         allow an individual or small group of persons to overfish
that regularly has schools of tuna is restricted to fishing       an area where previously the entire community, fishing
with pole and line from sailing canoes. On Ifik Atoll, the        together, would not have depleted the stocks. Certain
traditional leaders have banned the use of modern boats           fish species have almost disappeared, and it is widely
and outboard motors entirely. Only paddling and sailing           recognized that marine resources are endangered.
canoes are allowed inside the lagoon.
                                                                       The commercialization of inshore fishing is believed
      Many of the islands close sections of the reef entirely     to contribute to the erosion of traditional authority and
after a senior leader dies as a sign of respect. Such             obligations relating to fishing. Some nonlocal
closures may remain in effect for years. A closed section         commercial fishing enterprises have circumvented local
may be opened for other than management reasons,                  restrictions by forming alliances with local traditional
such as a tribute or a celebration. However, on Satawal           leaders. Local communities seem to lack sufficient
Island, a raised coral island with a fringing reef and a          cohesion to stop their leaders from engaging in such
high population density, a section of the reef is                 illegal practices for their personal gain. The result is an
traditionally closed for long periods of time for the             overall loss of respect for the leaders and for traditional
purpose of allowing the fish population to regenerate.            rules of resource management, and a further weakening
For whatever reason the closings have been decreed,               of traditional authority. Communities then have greater
the islanders have quickly observed how dramatically              difficulty instituting other management measures, such
the marine stocks have recovered. As a result, more               as bans on nighttime spear fishing, closure of protected
leaders are starting to close sections of the reef for            areas, or protection of seeded giant clams.
                                                                                                                         151

   Some Yapese concerned with the management of                 to provide considerably higher yields of produce than
commercial fishing feel that traditional controls of the        are now achieved with more modern methods. One
use of the water have a great advantage over government         simple but elegant technique employed was pyramidal
regulation because they make the people responsible             yam trellises about which yam vines were trained in
for the use of the resources. They believe that attempts        order to gain more light and moisture and more vines
by the government to regulate the use of marine                 per area. This technique was only named in the 1970s
resources directly would be a mistake, because they             as thigomorphogenesis, but it had been used for
would shift the attention of the people from what               hundreds of years in Yap. This way of growing yams also
tradition says they should do to simply what they need          used less land and did not require the burning of trees
to do to evade the enforcement of the government. They          to clear land.
say that too many people already think that the
government will do everything for them, including taking             In the uplands of Yap, the land was farmed
care of the natural resources.                                  traditionally with a complex system of ditches laid out
                                                                in a grid to drain and irrigate the land. It is believed that
     In the waters surrounding Yap are more than 800            the ditches developed bacteria to fix nitrogen that would
stone fish traps or weirs. Most have not been used for a        maintain the fertility of the farmed area. The excavated
long time and are in disrepair. They represent a very           soil was used to raise areas for houses, paths, and tree
sustainable form of fishing. The man-made stone walls           planting. The system functioned like a forest and
are mostly below water at high tide and the incoming            provided a pleasant living environment as well. This
tide pushes fish within the area of the walls. The outgoing     practice was widespread and the outlines can still be
tide traps the fish within the walls as they appear above       seen, but the practice is now lost. Now people cut the
water, and fish can be easily selected and caught. Those        canopy to open new space for gardens, then move on
not taken can swim away unharmed on the next high               when the land is depleted. Such practices also produce
tide. Efforts are underway in Yap to revive the use of the      damage to the marine habitat, when washout from the
traditional traps.                                              land exposed in the extensive clearing of watershed
                                                                areas runs into the lagoon.
    While traditional management of marine resources
primarily concerns the lagoon within the outer reef, it             Relatively little of the land remains in upland forest
does affect to a more limited degree the waters                 and that which does remain is decreasing rapidly.
immediately outside the reef and the taking of pelagic          Present distribution of the land is 3% urban, 12%
species of fish. Pelagic fish stocks are also down, though      mangrove, 13% upland forest, 28% agroforest, 23%
not as far as the reef stocks.                                  savanna (where the earlier ditching methods are seen),
                                                                and other categories. The most common form of
    Management of Terrestrial Resources                         agriculture now is a taro or vegetable patch with some
                                                                trees.
     The terrestrial resources of Yap are equally complex
and as endangered as the marine resources.                           Increasing variability in weather conditions and
Yap’s ancestors developed the surrounding landscape into        rising sea levels have produced saltwater intrusion into
a complex food production and living system and that            coastal agricultural lands and erosion from more
landscape in turn sustained the Yapese culture.                 extreme storm conditions. The loss of important
Community forests consist of the trees, forests, secondary      traditional taro-producing land at the coastal fringes has
forest, agroforests, tree garden/taro patch systems,            caused more clearing of interior land for garden patches,
watersheds, and associated animal life and other natural        with steadily increasing loss of already diminished forest
resources in the areas where the Yapese live, and their         cover. Traditional methods of multiple use of agricultural
urban and community area extends from town and village          land for high and sustainable yield have been largely
centers through agroforests and into the natural forests,       lost, and the weakened traditional authority and
where they collect medicines and other resources.               community cohesion mean that communities are
                                                                apparently unable either to reintroduce traditional
   The Yapese developed food production systems that            agricultural methods or to stem the continued clearing
made use of simple wooden tools and natural processes           of more land.

                                                              PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
152

    Historically the Yapese used more complex forms               The MRMD has undertaken specific programs to
of agroforestry, like the trenching system described         protect and reintroduce species. Most successful has
above, which achieved significantly higher productivity      been a program to reintroduce the several species of
from the combined land use than they now get from            giant clams, which have almost disappeared because of
simple garden patches. Both the yam farming in the           uncontrolled harvesting. MRMD has raised seedling
uplands and the taro raising in the lowlands or wetlands     clams in an artificial environment to the size of several
were more productive, and the soil was not depleted so       inches and then reintroduced them into the waters of
rapidly. These integrated systems evolved over long          cooperating individuals and villages. This has been a
periods of time to be the most productive approaches to      successful collaborative effort between the modern and
the use of the land. Present agriculture is very simple,     traditional systems and the clams are gaining ground in
using basic hand tools; the complex approaches have          some areas. Unfortunately, the clams are often still taken
been forgotten.                                              too young, by poaching and sometimes even by the
                                                             cooperating water owner, impatient for a clam dinner.
      Unless the agricultural land is properly managed,
forest cover will decrease further and erosion washing            Not surprisingly, MRMD does not have enough funds
down into the lagoons will increase, impacting marine        or staff to accomplish its full agenda. It is also still
resources. Individual farmers (usually women) are            struggling to establish its image and legitimacy with the
reluctant to try “new” methods unless the village as a       traditional leaders as an entity that wishes to form a
whole supports the concept. Community cohesiveness           partnership with them in the sustainable management
and action are needed to reintroduce the more                of marine resources. As a government agency, it is
sustainable agriculture methods.                             suspected of trying to usurp traditional authority.


      Modern Systems of Resource Management                       As to terrestrial resources, the Department of
                                                             Agriculture is concerned with increasing agricultural
      Modern governments commonly divide respon-             production, but has not addressed the incorporation of
sibilities for resource management among different           traditional agricultural methods and land management
agencies that regulate specific resources, such as           techniques into modern agriculture.
fisheries and agriculture. Some agencies whose
decisions may impact on these resources, such as                 The Yap Urban and Community Forestry Advisory
economic planning and development through siting             Council (UCFAC) seeks to protect and enhance existing
factories and infrastructure, are rarely required to         community forests, to expand the practice of community
consider their relationship to the resource agencies, and    forestry to meet current and future needs, and to
the linkages among all of the pertinent agencies is often    maintain the vital connection between people’s forests
weak. In Yap, as in many island countries, the problem       and culture. Yap’s ancestors had developed the
is considerably complicated by the presence of traditional   landscape into a living system and that landscape in turn
institutions of resource management, which in most           sustained Yapese culture. The Council wishes to maintain
instances have even weaker communications or linkages        and enhance this connection while progressing into the
with the agencies of government than those agencies          future.
have among themselves.
                                                                  The UCFAC and the Forest Resources Management
    Yap State has established the Marine Resources           Programs have collaborated on a project to reintroduce
Management Division (MRMD) under the Department              the traditional yam trellis. While not a big project, it
of Resources and Development. The MRMD has been              exemplifies collaborative efforts between the state and
very active in pursuing various planning efforts,            traditional systems for the sustainable management of
participating in international programs, and trying to       natural resources. By reviving the use of trellises instead
communicate issues of the decline of marine resources        of burn-girdled trees to support yam vines, the traditional
to the communities and the traditional leaders. It has an    practice reduces the rate of deforestation.
ongoing program of visiting communities, together with
other agencies and organizations concerned with the              In a recent project, researchers compared the
environment, to talk about marine resource management.       production of gardens using the traditional trellises with
                                                                                                                        153

control gardens where the yams were allowed to grow                  The most recent planning document for marine
up sacrificed trees—the common current practice. They            resources is the MRCMP, started in 1991 and published in
found that the weight of the harvested yams was about            1994, but even now not adopted by the government. Much
2.5 times greater per mound for the gardens with                 of the basic data on fisheries resources and exports
traditional trellises. Thus the practice appears not only        needed for its implementation have not yet been collected.
to reduce deforestation but to significantly increase yields     In 1999, the MRMD again initiated efforts to revise and
as well.                                                         revitalize the MRCMP. However, to date essentially no
                                                                 marine resource management plan is in effect, only a
     The support framework for the trellis project, which        collection of valuable but fragmentary activities. The only
has now been carried out in most municipalities on Yap,          policies officially endorsed by the state with regard to
utilizes a federal grant to provide tools (knives and            marine resources are those from the 1996 Summit.
shovels), a water chest, and a modest stipend for a teacher
to village groups that want to do a project that helps both         In 1999, an important initiative resulted from a
people and trees/forests. The teacher is generally a             mandate of the two councils of chiefs, the COP and COT.
knowledgeable older person identified by the group who           It established an Environmental Stewardship Task Force
is willing to teach a group of at least eight apprentices.       to work cooperatively with the government to develop
The government administers the program and the                   an environmental stewardship program for Yap. This
community implements it. Further work is needed with             initiative was subsequently merged with the initiative
the yam trellises to understand the science behind the           of the MRMD to revitalize the MRCMP to become the
system (plant physiology, soil microbiology, etc.) in order      Environmental Stewardship Consortium (ESC).
to identify the parameters of the system and deliberately
manipulate them, and perhaps eventually utilize science               The ESC includes the original task force of
to enhance the traditional practice.                             prominent individuals active in the issues of sustainable
                                                                 resource management, plus representatives of relevant
    The Yap Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is             government agencies, nongovernment organizations
considered to have the responsibility to implement the           (NGOs) (e.g., the Yap Community Action Program
National Environmental Management System (NEMS)                  (YAPCAP), the Yap Institute of Natural Sciences, and
prepared for FSM in 1993 with ADB technical assistance           the Yap Women’s Association, and community
(ADB 1993). The NEMS stresses traditional environmental          representatives appointed by the councils of chiefs. Many
management as a priority area for implementation, and            of its approximately 20 members are very influential in
the EPA does participate with MRMD and other agencies            state and traditional affairs; together they are
in outreach programs to traditional leaders, communities,        representative of the many stakeholders in the
and schools to explain the importance of protecting the          sustainable management of the resources of Yap.
environment, including both the marine and terrestrial
environments. The organization undertakes to prevent                  More than any other body in Yap at this time, the
the discharge of toxic wastes onto the land or into the          ESC bridges the gap between traditional and modern
water, but the environmental regulations in Yap are              approaches to resource management. It has intervened
minimal and the ability to enforce them is limited.              on several occasions in public issues: in the most notable
                                                                 of these, runoff from highway construction was believed
     The First Yap State Economic and Social Summit to           to be threatening the habitat of the manta rays and the
consider the future of the state and to set directions for       ESC forced the state to conduct a full and neutral
development, held in 1996, reported on goals, objectives,        environmental impact assessment (EIA). A bill before
strategies, and projects for marine resources, including         the present Legislature would formalize the ESC as the
recommendations to maintain existing traditional                 Natural Resources Advisory Council (NRAC) to assist the
resource regulations, develop and maintain adequate              councils of chiefs and to link government, NGOs, and
monitoring data on the various resources and set specific        other efforts with communities. The new government is
harvest limitations, implement the Marine Resources and          very supportive of the concept of the ESC and the NRAC.
Coastal Management Plan (MRCMP), and ban the
commercial exportation of inshore fisheries resources                The ESC has also assisted in the development of
to markets outside Yap State.                                    the Yap State Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan,

                                                               PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
154

which has become part of the FSM National Biodiversity       waters of four cooperating coastal villages. The villages
Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP). The concept of the         and the individual landowners concerned have agreed
integration of traditional resource conservation was         to participate in a partnership with the MRMD to establish
incorporated into the NBSAP, as endorsed in March 2002.      the areas. These are at the northern and southern
The NBSAP begins with the vision: “The FSM will have         extremes of Yap, in Rumung and Gilman municipalities,
more extensive, diverse, and higher quality… marine,         respectively, and on the east coasts of the island in Gagil
freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems, which meet           and Maap Municipalities. The purpose of the project is
human needs and aspirations fairly, preserve and utilize     to demonstrate how damaged marine reserves can
traditional knowledge and practices, and fulfill the         recover when protected or used for a limited take. The
ecosystem functions necessary for all life on Earth”         program is encouraging in that it represents cooperation
(Federated States of Micronesia 2002a).                      between the state government and communities and
                                                             could be the precursor and model for an integration of
    Unlike some other island countries, the government       traditional and modern approaches to natural resource
of Yap does not consider that it controls the lagoon         management.
waters within the surrounding reef. Respecting
traditional ownership rights, the government finds it very       Integration of Traditional and Modern Management
difficult to try to regulate what is done in those waters.       of Resources
Therefore any form of regulation of the inshore waters is
problematic. This situation makes it doubly critical that         The traditional systems of resource management
the modern systems and the traditional systems work          have a great intrinsic advantage, both in their knowledge
together in a partnership for sustainable management of      of conditions at the very local level and in their ability to
lagoon resources.                                            make decisions quickly. In order for their role to be
                                                             meaningful in the future, however, it must be reconciled
     The present Governor would like to stop altogether      and integrated with that of the government agencies that
the use of nets in the waters inside the reef, but he does   are also charged with managing the resources for the
not feel that he has the authority to do so by regulation.   welfare of all the people. As these traditional institutions
He proposes instead to introduce fishpond production         and systems have become weakened, they must be
of food fish species that can tolerate brackish water, and   revitalized, while at the same time, the best of both
then make illegal the commercial sale of reef species        traditional and modern management systems must be
other than those commercially produced. The                  integrated into a partnership seeking to achieve
government cannot control the fishing, but it can control    identified common goals.
commerce. Direct government regulation or management
of the marine resources, however, remains problematical.          Recognition of both the limitations of government
                                                             and the decline in traditional management authority has
    A bill is pending before the State Legislature that      led to the suggestion that, where traditional systems still
would give MRMD sweeping authority to regulate the           exist, they should be embedded in a framework of “co-
use of the lagoon for the conservation of coastal and        management,” defined as the mutual accommodation
aquatic resources (Fifth Legislature of the State of Yap     and sharing of management responsibility between
2002). The terms of this proposed act stand in stark         traditional and government systems. The concept of co-
contrast with the traditional concepts of authority over     management was presented and recommended at the
the use of natural resources, and the bill is therefore      Coastal Fisheries Consortium held in Pohnpei in
unlikely to be enacted as it stands. However, it is an       December 2000.
important start, and a compromise bill may give MRMD
more authority and resources to enter into a partnership          The MPAs being established by the IWP, the
with traditional authority to achieve the same purpose.      experimental programs with yam production, and the
                                                             activities of the ESC represent the leading edge in Yap’s
      In another initiative, the Strategic Action            integration of traditional and modern environmental
Programme for the International Waters of the Pacific        management. They are promising, and the potential for
(IWP) Small Island Developing States is just starting to     their success is substantial. But true integration will only
establish marine protected areas (MPAs) in the lagoon        come with understanding of common goals, strengthened
                                                                                                                         155

communities, and effective communications between                 the grasses on which the cattle grazed.
modern and traditional systems. Much work remains to
be done to create those conditions, but collaboration                  On the mainland, the combination of high tides and
and partnerships between government and communities               saltwater intrusion has caused the loss of traditional
and between government and individuals will be                    taro-growing land and consequent clearing of forest
essential to the future sustainable management of Yap’s           cover to open more land for agriculture. Ninety percent
natural resources.                                                of taro production is on the coast and almost all
                                                                  traditional community taro lands are on the coast, often
    Weather Variability                                           occupying small inlets that had been dammed and filled.
                                                                  By nature of their geology, these are the first to be
     Increased variability in weather patterns and rising         affected by saltwater intrusion.
sea levels have become major concerns in the last
decade for the people of Yap, especially for those living             Not only has loss of these special agricultural lands
on the 19 outlying islands that are coral atolls and rise         caused the loss of forest, it has also speeded the
only a few feet above sea level. Some migration from              weakening of community cohesiveness. One of the
the outlying islands to the mainland has already occurred         traditional activities conducted cooperatively by the
as a result of erosion of land and fears of future storms.        community was the cultivation of the community taro
The present government is very concerned about the                patch. With the loss of such community resources,
impact on the economic viability of Yap, including                members of the community have turned to independent
matters as basic as being able to raise enough taro root,         family agriculture and community cohesiveness has
if a significant portion of the outer-island population           suffered.
(which is 40% of total population of Yap) should decide
to move to the mainland. This phenomenon is culturally                 The variability of weather also impacts the
conceivable, as the outer islanders are more                      traditional leadership and management systems.
economically dependent on the state government for                Historically, traditional leaders specified fishing or
survival than are the mainlanders and tend to look more           planting according to the time of year as determined from
to the government to help them survive.                           the stars, because they could anticipate rain or certain
                                                                  sea conditions. Now they cannot be sure that the weather
    No local scientific measurements could be found               will cooperate with the schedule, and this variability
on Yap of the change in sea level, but everyone has a             serves to weaken the traditional authority.
story of a set of rocks or some other feature that within
their memory was above sea level at normal tides. The             Tourism Development
perception that the sea level is rising is pervasive, ranging
from 8 to 12 inches in the last decade, especially in the              Tourism in Yap is of limited scale relative to that of
outer islands. But it is the increased variability in weather     its neighbors Palau and Guam. Six hotel facilities with a
that has produced the more tangible effects. Storms are           total of 100 rooms are located on the main island of Yap
observed to be more frequent and more violent, with               and one hotel of 10 units on the outlying island of Ulithi.
higher surge tides. Substantial portions of coastline have        Nonetheless, tourism is very important to the economy
been eroded, and a number of villages have built concrete         of Yap. A recent study by the Yap Visitors Bureau
seawalls to try to stop the erosion. Unfortunately, violent       estimates that the 3,289 tourist arrivals in 2002 spent a
storms often come over the seawalls and erode the land            total of more than US$3 million in Yap. This is significant
inside the wall, leaving it standing alone in the water.          with reference to a 2001 GDP of US$40 million and is
                                                                  slightly more than the amount spent each year for the
     In the outlying islands, many instances of saltwater         importation of petroleum products. More than 80% of
intrusion into freshwater lenses have occurred as a result        tourism revenue is connected to Scuba diving, which is
of the erosion. This poses a significant threat: the              in turn heavily dependent for marketing on the famous
freshwater resources of the outlying islands are very             manta rays that can be seen year-round.
limited, as they have no mountains to form catchment
basins. In one instance, half the population of cattle on            Yap has other attractions besides the manta rays,
an island was lost because saltwater intrusion damaged            however, and good potential for diversified ecotourism

                                                                PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
156

development. The numerous sand beaches and coral reefs            This study compares the application of traditional
are fine for snorkeling. The network of stone paths offers     management approaches and public-private partnerships
the opportunity to walk through unspoiled dense tropical       in large vs. small tourism destination development. The
forests, mangroves, and upland agricultural areas, while       developments selected and contacted for the study are
observing a great variety of plants, birds, small animals,     the Trader’s Ridge Resort and the Manta Ray Bay Hotel,
and reptiles. Many stone paths have fallen into poor           both relatively large resorts (for Yap) of 23 units each.
condition and disuse, but some have been rebuilt. One          Both have international or expatriate ownership and
village (Kadai) has carefully rebuilt its entire network of    management. The smaller facilities are the Pathways
paths, as well as its platform and several traditional         Hotel and the Village View Resort, facilities of 9 and 10
houses; it offers tourists a guided walk through the forest    units respectively, built in traditional architectural design
and traditional dances in an authentic village setting.        and owned and operated by local families.

     All tourism facilities are relatively small, ranging in       The first two facilities and the second two stand in
size from 4 to 24 units. All but two of the facilities (with   sharp contrast physically. The study asks if their
a total of only 14 rooms) are in Colonia. All facilities in    development also contrasted significantly, and if lessons
Colonia are on small areas of land, are connected to the       can be learned for the future environmental sustainability
municipal waste treatment system, and have thus far            of development from the different issues they faced and
had little impact on the environment or on the                 resolved.
sustainability of natural resources. Tourism operators
and facilities connected with diving have been very active         Trader’s Ridge Resort
in supporting government actions and in taking their
own voluntary actions to preserve the pristine nature of            Trader’s Ridge Resort (TRR) is wholly owned by the
the marine resources on which they depend.                     US-based Robert Gumbiner Foundation and is associated
                                                               with the Ethnic Art Institute of Micronesia located on
    Many of the people of Yap who have engaged in              the site of the present hotel. The TRR has 23 rooms with
the modern economy have observed social and                    relatively luxurious appointments and facilities and was
environmental problems that large-scale tourism has            built in 1997, just before the Asian and world economy
brought to their neighbors, Palau and Guam. They want          declined. The land on which the main buildings stand is
a different future for Yap. They recognize, however, that      leased from the Yap state government on terms of an
Yap has very limited resources to export or by which to        annual minimum payment plus a share of profits on a
attract foreign investment, and they assume that their         scale that declines as profits rise. No annual net profits
future is significantly tied to the development of tourism.    have accrued, so the payment has remained the
                                                               minimum. No written lease was drawn up for the use of
      Everyone knows the term “ecotourism” and                 the land.
assumes that it is low profile and does not disturb the
environment. Though they may not understand well                    The resort incorporates a previous structure that
what it otherwise implies, they want to see ecotourism         was the quarters for US Navy SeaBees under the US
developed in Yap. The other term widely used is “high-         Trust Territory Administration prior to the independence
end” tourism, conjuring visions of a small number of           of FSM. The building was built by the Japanese
tourists who pay substantially for luxury services.            administration that commenced after World War I, so
                                                               the land has been alienated from traditional ownership
     Tourism was expanding in the mid-1990s, and much          for a long time.
of the present capacity was built just before the Asian
financial crisis in 1997. Since then, and especially since            However, some of the outlying buildings, such as
the threat of terrorism has reduced international travel,      the water sports center and dock, are on private land
the tourism sector in Yap has been trying mainly to            still held within the traditional system of land ownership.
survive. Annual occupancy averages about 25%. While            TRR has the verbal permission of the owner and the
there are fragments of a vision of future tourism, no state    respective traditional leader to use the land and no rent
or industry sector plan or strategy envisions how Yap          is required. There are however, undefined obligations
will capture new tourism markets.                              that go with the use of the land, such as supplying
                                                                                                                           157

refreshments for village festivities. Thus far, the requests            Manta Ray Bay Hotel
have been small but the ultimate extent is undefined.
                                                                        The Manta Ray Bay Hotel (MRBH) has 23 modern
     The management of the resort has from the                     units, is dedicated to the diving market, and advertises
beginning sought to incorporate traditional leaders into           widely internationally. It is built on fill, so questions of
the operation of the hotel. One traditional leader from            the traditional ownership of the land never arose. The
the local village was employed in the resort. This did             land was titled to the Yap State and sold to WAAB, the
not work out well, as he had difficulty carrying out his           local corporation operating the port, from which it was
duties and was unable to adjust to working with Yapese             bought by the present owner, a former US Peace Corps
of a lower caste or social level than himself.                     volunteer to one of the outer islands of Yap. The land
                                                                   has clear title. People still occasionally claim that the
       The resort management has created a committee               hotel waterfront is violating fishing rights, but these
of landowners whose land borders the lagoon on which               claims have not been taken seriously by either the hotel
it is situated and pays a traditional leader from the area         or, apparently, by the area’s traditional leaders.
to manage the work of cleaning up the lagoon. Progress
has been limited and slow. Hotel management has placed                  MRBH also operates Yap Divers, the largest dive
trash barrels around the lagoon at its own direct expense          operation on Yap. The traditional ownership of water
and pays a local company to collect and dispose of trash           rights has in general not been an obstacle to the
placed in the barrels.                                             development of diving tourism. Sport diving does not
                                                                   take resources from the water, and under the traditional
      TRR’s present annual occupancy rate is about 25%.            system, anyone can bathe or swim in any water without
As it is owned by a foundation, it has no debt and is not          seeking permission. To avoid any conflict, however, each
under the same pressure to make a profit that a normal             of the five present dive operators seeks the permission
commercial operation would be. It has therefore                    of the water rights holder for each dive site visited even
continued to make improvements, and has maintained                 though the operators believe that diving should be seen
a full staff when a commercial operation would have                as no different from swimming. In most cases, this
been forced to drastically reduce operating costs.                 permission is given freely, with no request for payment,
                                                                   as the owners of the rights merely wish to have those
     Except for three expatriates (the general manager,            rights reconfirmed.
his wife who fills an active role in the operation of the
hotel, and a water sports and technical manager), the                   In one notable exception, the historical owner of the
entire staff of the resort is Yapese. It has been difficult to     Miil Channel, the area where the manta rays can be
keep trained Yapese staff, and other hotels in Colonia             regularly viewed in their cleaning station, demanded
have all turned to employing Filipino or other foreign             payment for access. Because the site is key to the diving
staff in order to get the work done.                               trade for Yap, the operators made such payments.
                                                                   However, the usage rights (though not the ownership)
    TRR at one point tried unsuccessfully to buy the               had been lost in an inter-village war in the 19th century.
Pathways Hotel, but the conditions placed on Pathways              The traditional leader of the village now owning the rights
for the use of the land were that control of the hotel             decided that there was too much controversy and told
could never be sold to foreigners, as they would not               the operators to stop making payment. The operators have
understand the continuing obligations that go with the             done so and the former claimant of the usage rights has
use of the land.                                                   threatened to take the issue to the municipal court. Up to
                                                                   now, the present owner of the rights has not suggested
     TRR has new management and is in transition,                  that the village should receive any payment, only that the
trying to identify its future market. The diving market            individual owner should not charge for access.
is largely held by the other larger facility studied
which has agreements with major dive travel                             The Pathways Hotel
marketing and packaging organizations in the US and
Europe. Present management is looking at the retired                    The Pathways Hotel has nine units built in 1996 in
high-end market.                                                   the traditional architecture of Yap, primarily native

                                                                 PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
158

wood, bamboo, and thatch construction. The owners             exposure, the units might not stand up to the periodic
of the hotel have from the beginning been very                typhoon winds.
concerned to use the environment sustainably. The
hotel labels itself an “ecoresort” specializing in “eco-          The resort is established on land of the family of
oriented” adventure activities.                               the owner in a village on the east side of Maap
                                                              municipality, of which the senior traditional leader is the
    The hotel was established by and is still owned by        brother of the owner and operator of the hotel.
a family of traditional leaders, but it is at the edge of     Construction was started in 1994 and it opened in 1996.
Colonia in a location some distance from their village        Approval by the traditional leader for establishment of
and authority. The grandfather of the present manager         the resort was never an issue, nor was use of the water
bought the land through traditional exchange of stone         in front of the resort, as the family also has the fishing
money and obligations, because the family wanted a            rights for the adjoining water.
piece of land near Colonia, where family members could
stay when visiting the city. When the father of the present        However, the village controlling the water to the
manager decided to build the Pathways Hotel, the land         south, which has excellent diving potential, refused to
was surveyed and titled. No consultation was held with        allow diving in the belief that it would disturb the fish.
the traditional leaders of the village where the hotel is     Like other villages on the west side of the island that do
located about approval to build the hotel. No partnership     not allow diving, they do not understand the difference
with the local village was considered to be needed in its     between local divers who spear fish and take turtles for
establishment. A long-time expatriate resident of Yap         food and the tourist sport divers who do not take sea life.
was taken in as a partner, and three of the original eight
units were sold up front as timeshare units and are still          The resort also has a small diving operation
owned by nonresidents of Yap. This provided much of           operated by a Japanese investor/operator. When the
the capital to build the hotel.                               diving operator proposed to introduce jet skis for
                                                              tourists, the traditional leader, brother of the hotel owner,
      Construction was held up at one point for several       disallowed the proposal, as he was concerned that the
months because bulldozing the land for construction had       noise would disturb the fish.
eliminated taro-growing areas on which the villagers
who sold the land depended to meet their obligations to           Tourism and Natural Resource Management
the village. Traditional leaders of the village on whose
land the hotel is located asked what the owners would               In the development of the four facilities studied, no
do about it. The village that had given permission to sell    clear process or set of procedures was followed. A
and use the land was of a higher rank or caste than the       business license is relatively easy to get and at the time
owners of the hotel, so they could not ask directly what      that the four facilities were established, no environmental
was wrong. They needed to listen to the traditional           impact assessment (EIA) was required. An EIA is now
leaders of the local village but had to go through a friend   required for any construction involving major earth
of higher rank who could speak with the village               moving, but no particular process is required for licensing
traditional leaders. An amicable agreement was arrived        a hotel.
at and the hotel owners reaffirmed that they had
obligations to the village by nature of their use of the           Neither at the time when the four hotels were
land. The traditional leaders wanted primarily                established nor at the present time has any state
reaffirmation of respect, not money. Subsequent               regulation or licensing requirement stipulated that the
demands to meet the obligations have been minimal.            traditional system be consulted. The obligations of
                                                              traditional land tenure are still very real, however, and
      Village View Resort                                     any project utilizing traditionally owned land would be
                                                              extremely foolish not to reconcile the use of the land or
      The Village View Resort has 10 units in 5 duplexes      water with traditional resource management systems.
built on the oceanfront in a mixed modern and traditional
architecture. The owner would have built entirely in               Each of the four facilities has had minor conflicts
traditional architecture, but feared that with direct beach   with the traditional system. Each has been different, and
                                                                                                                       159

in two of the cases the conflict was quickly resolved                Larger-scale development outside Colonia will also
through discussion and modest contributions to the               engage the traditional systems of natural resource
community. In the third, the facility simply complied            management, and especially the traditional land tenure
with a limitation set by the traditional leader, and in          systems, more directly than has tourism development
the fourth the conflict has not been taken very seriously        to date. The facilities examined in this study have either
by any of the parties concerned and has thus far been            occupied land outside the traditional system leased or
ignored.                                                         bought from the state, or they are on relatively small
                                                                 pieces of land owned by the family of the operator within
    The new licensing requirement enacted in 2002                the traditional land tenure system. The scale of these
specifies that a business license shall be denied if a           facilities has obviated any significant conflict with the
business activity is injurious to the health and welfare         traditional systems.
of the citizens of the State of Yap. It further defines this
to be the case if the applicant or the business activity              The diving aspect of much of the tourism has come
                                                                 into conflict on occasion with the traditional resource
  •     will create permanent damage to the natural              management system: some owners of water resources
        environment of the state,                                have been unwilling to allow sport divers to enter their
  •     is not environmentally sustainable,                      areas, because of some misunderstanding of the nature
  •     exploits Yapese or other Micronesian culture,            of the sport. On the other hand, the diving operators are
  •     will cause damage to traditional social structures,      concerned with the depletion of marine stocks from
  •     has not obtained permission for the activity from        overfishing, as it degrades the quality of the diving
        the local community,                                     experience. They therefore back the government in its
  •     has not satisfied the requirements of the EPA,           wish to regulate the use of the waters within the reef,
        or                                                       and to that extent they are in further conflict with the
  •     has engaged in other activities in violation of          traditional systems of land tenure and resource
        environmental protection laws.                           management.


    While it is too soon to know how this wording will                The tourism and diving operators hold the position
be interpreted and applied, it certainly provides the            that diving is no different from swimming and that under
government with ample leverage to prevent any                    traditional rules anyone can swim or bathe in any water,
business practice that is not environmentally                    regardless of ownership. Noting that the tourism of Yap
sustainable, or that conflicts with traditional practices.       is overwhelmingly dependent on diving, the dive
                                                                 operators would like the government to take a public
     At the present level of tourism in Yap, the industry        position that diving does not deplete or damage the
has so far had no apparent impact on the environment             resources of a site and that therefore access to all
or on the sustainability of the natural resources. This is       waters for diving should be free. They have been
because most facilities are small and on the municipal           disappointed; the government has failed to take such a
waste treatment system of Colonia, and they depend on            position because it is reluctant to challenge the
maintaining the condition of the reef and lagoon for             traditional rights of the landowner to determine the use
diving. Future development could be very different. It           of the water. Traditional leaders have only rarely
would probably be located in more remote areas of the            intervened in this issue.
island and could use more services and resources to
provide more luxurious services and facilities.                      Tourism and traditional resource management have
                                                                 a common interest in sustaining the resources, though
     Development outside Colonia will require more               for different reasons. Their common interest has thus
planning as to how to make the operation of the facilities       far kept the tourism industry and the traditional leaders
environmentally sustainable. It should also have some            from coming into serious conflict. Some of the tourism
government guidelines as to how the development is to            facilities are owned and operated by traditional leaders.
occur and may require some infrastructure of                     So long as tourism remains at its present level, an uneasy
legal/cultural expertise to support development of the           coexistence will probably continue between tourism and
needed public-private partnerships.                              traditional resource management.

                                                               PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
160

     The modern economy hopes for substantial growth          Payments were made to the village chief, not to the
of tourism, however, and in ways that will affect larger      individual landowners, but all of the payment was
areas of land and water. For that to happen without           probably returned to the landowner. Initial construction
conflict, it will be essential for the government to take     was on one parcel of beachfront land, surveyed and
an active role in setting guidelines and in working with      titled to one member of the village. Two other surveyed
traditional leaders to achieve understanding about how        and titled parcels were owned by other villagers and
development can be designed to work within tradition          designated as expansion space for growth. At the
and to bring true, positive development to the people of      beginning of the project the entire village was surveyed
Yap. Achieving the expected growth in tourism, and            and titled in 1 month with no problem. Members of the
especially in a sustainable manner, will also require a       same family owned all three parcels. As it was a high-
clear strategy and action plan that is consistent with and    caste village, no problems arose of layers of obligation
integrates both traditional values and modern                 on the land from higher-caste villages. Unfortunately,
aspirations. The default development in the absence of        the facility was destroyed by a typhoon in 2001 when
careful planning is likely to be economically                 only two units had been built and it was barely
disappointing and environmentally unsustainable.              operational.

Public-Private Partnerships                                       The Ulithi Adventure Resort on Ulithi Island is a
                                                              partnership of three foreign investors, one of whom
      Tourism                                                 served in the military on Ulithi during World War II, and
                                                              a local citizen who owns the land. Neither the village
    None of the four tourist facilities studied involved      nor the clan is involved in the venture. The hotel has
any significant form of public-private partnership.           comfortable facilities but has never attracted much
Though the concept of public-private partnerships in          business because of lack of marketing. Annual
tourism seems acceptable, no real test of it has occurred     occupancy is probably less than 15%.
in practice because of obstacles of weather or finances.
Two known attempts have been made at real public-                 In the state government sector, no examples of
private partnerships in tourism, in which private capital     public-private partnerships exist. The state government
was or was proposed to be in partnership with a village       had an exceptional opportunity to enter into such a
or community. In the early 1990s, a project was proposed      partnership when it decided to remove the national
in the village of Chool, Maap Municipality, by a Japanese     public utility from direct government operation.
investor/developer for a large operation called Nature’s      However, it decided to corporatize the utility rather than
Way. It would have included accommodations, food              seeking private capital or management, and it is still
production, community development, and much more.             wholly state-owned.
In retrospect the project seems a good vision, but it was
ahead of its time. The community did not understand                The entry of Continental Airlines into Micronesia
the project or their relationship to it and was having        prior to national independence was in some ways a
difficulty in agreeing to it. When investors withdrew         public-private partnership, as Continental was previously
during the Asian financial crisis, the project collapsed.     a solely domestic US carrier and the Trust Territory
                                                              Administration invested in the infrastructure needed to
     Another smaller venture was established as a             support the air routes. A proposal from private investors
partnership between a small village and an American           is presently under consideration by the government of
investor. Destiny Resort was located in Gilman                Yap to expand the air service to and within the state in a
Municipality on the far southern tip of Yap. It was started   partnership involving investment by the state.
in 1995 by an American investor from Hawaii in
partnership with the small village (perhaps 20 persons)            Many in Yap see the concept of public-private
that owned the coastal area. The village was not              partnerships in business and development as useful, and
incorporated. The venture was a public-private                the government may consider it for future infrastructure
partnership in which the village held 40% of the equity       projects. However, the state government may need help
and received a minimum US$1,000/month payment                 in developing the legal guidelines and infrastructure for
until their share of profits would exceed that figure.        public-private partnerships involving the government.
                                                                                                                           161

Substantial future expansion of tourism outside the               are becoming overgrown because no one works them.
capital is almost certain to involve partnerships between         People work only what they will use for themselves.
outside private capital and expertise and the                     Stone fish traps are abandoned because community
communities that own or have traditional influence over           fishing has declined, and the species of fish for which
the use of the land and water resources.                          they were built have largely disappeared. Nets have
                                                                  replaced the traps.
    Natural Resource Management
                                                                       Yap has been trying to establish marine protected
     A different type of partnership has been tentatively         areas for many years, with some success. The MRMD
tried in the past and is presently being explored through         has tried to establish marine life reserves to let the fish
new initiatives. It consists of public-public-private             reproduce, but too many people fail to respect the
partnerships in which the state government, the                   reserves. Most notable has been the program to establish
community, and the private land or water rights owner             protected areas for reestablishing giant clams, in which
all cooperate to achieve objectives of sustainable                some communities have cooperated. Still, reseeding of
management of natural resources. The approach could               giant clams is failing because of poaching and
apply equally to marine resources and terrestrial                 impatience to eat the clams. Young people sometimes
resources, but where sustainability is concerned, the             fish illegally with nets for fun, letting the catch spoil and
focus has been on the marine resources. The MPAs being            not caring about the diminishing fish stocks.
established by the IWP and the activities of the ESC to
establish an environmental stewardship program for Yap                 Not enough traditional leaders are really trying to
are examples of partnerships between the traditional and          stop the overfishing and violation of restricted areas, and
modern systems for the sustainable management of                  the communities have lost the cohesiveness that might
resources. They are both promising, and the potential             allow community members to either take action
for their success is substantial. But their success and           themselves or urge the traditional leaders to do so. The
that of future public-private partnerships must be built          traditional leaders know they should try to stop the
on understanding of common goals, strengthened                    violation of the reserves but they are discouraged by no
communities, and effective communications between                 one listening to them. Many just do not care any more
modern and traditional systems. Much work remains to              and the traditional authority is disappearing.
be done to create those conditions.                               Unfortunately, some traditional leaders are even
                                                                  exploiting their communities by using community
Communities                                                       resources for business gain in the cash economy,
                                                                  especially through fishing. As a result some communities
      The Yapese culture is very nonconfrontational and           are trying to reassert their collective authority over the
it is often difficult for individuals to speak their opinion.     use of the marine resources.
Traditionally, as part of the system of multiple and
specialized leadership roles, community decisions are                  The community takes very little part in national
normally taken consensually through discussion.                   decisions. One rarely sees community discussions with
Members have ample opportunity to discuss issues with             the representative to the COP. Television and the cash
deliberation, then from the discussions, the responsible          economy are fuelling a transition from the village
leader gauges the consensus and announces it as the               community to the nuclear family, in which everyone goes
decision of the community. Decisions are taken for the            to work or to school in the day and comes home to watch
overall welfare of the community, whether at the village          TV at night. The cash economy and the state government
or regional level. Usually a consensus would emerge               have largely ignored the communities, and the
without confrontation about such issues as opening new            communities therefore assume that the government does
land for cultivation, or fishing with nets, or working the        not care about their opinion. This has weakened the
community taro patch.                                             traditional system. Management of natural resources
                                                                  was originally completely a community function. The
     Very few activities now take place at the village level      cash economy and the new authority of the state have
or on a community basis, such as communal fishing or              also left the communities expecting that government
building or even discussion. Community taro patches               should do whatever is needed, and if participation of

                                                                PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
162

the community is required they should be paid for their       policy or plans or issues, only campaigns on personal
efforts. For example, the state government now offers         popularity laced with clan affiliation.
funds for villages or individuals to repair the stone paths
on their land. Traditionally the villagers would have done         Some signs have indicated, however, that the
it for themselves. Now everyone expects to be paid by         communities themselves are recognizing this shift and
the government for such community efforts.                    are starting to encourage more community activity. The
                                                              traditional leaders still have the ability to direct the
      Children are being taught about the environment         communities to take action, but something must focus
in school but not enough about the value or effectiveness     their interests, as well as that of the communities. The
of traditional methods of natural resource management.        traditional leaders make decisions only when they
Therefore the new generation tends to disregard the           perceive the intent of the community, rarely against the
traditional systems of resource management.                   wishes of the community as a whole. The community is
Information on environmental issues and marine                the real force for change and for action to preserve
conservation does not reach communities easily. It is         the resources. Communities and education hold the
essential to reach the younger people in the community        keys to a coherent and widely desirable future for Yap,
with information, while at the same time showing respect      a future striving to gain a vision rather than one arrived
to the traditional leaders. Consultations on                  at by default.
environmental issues and resource management have
been held in the municipalities and the villages by
representatives of the Historic Preservation Office,
                                                              Lessons Learned
MRMD, EPA, and other organizations, but it appeared to
the state government that no one was listening to them
so their frequency has diminished.                            Problems

     MRMD and the EPA have programs to take                     •     The traditional leadership and the communities
information to the communities and into the schools, but              feel that they are not part of progress. They see
the government is still unable to do enough to educate                the government as concerned with economic
the communities. Education is the key, starting from the              development rather than true development that
lowest levels of public education up to the traditional               focuses on the improved welfare of all the
leaders themselves, who might do much more to help                    people. Consequently, they do not respond well
manage the resources if they better understand the issues.            to government overtures.
                                                                •     Communication between the government and
     The communities need to do things for themselves,                the traditional leaders and the communities is
but to do so they need stronger leadership and to come                weak or nonexistent. The councils of traditional
together to discuss what to do. Where the community                   leaders established by the Constitution to bridge
has taken action it has usually been the result of a single           that gap have not fulfilled their intended role,
person in the community animating the community, and                  and government agencies are sometimes inept
it has not always been the traditional leader who has                 at communicating with the traditional leaders
risen to the occasion. An emerging leader, however, will              or communities.
still need at least the passive endorsement of the              •     Traditional leadership has been weakened by a
traditional leader.                                                   number of forces, including the cash economy,
                                                                      new technology, religion, and villagers working
      Both the state and the communities need a long-                 in Colonia, Palau, Guam, Hawaii, or elsewhere.
term vision of where they want to go, such as on what                 Yet although their authority is often not well
type of tourism they want to develop and where, and                   exercised, it still exists. Tourism and the impact
how they want to manage their natural resources. There                of foreign visitors do not appear to have been
may be a lot of agreement among the people on what                    significant factors in this decline.
type of world they want, but the vision is not expressed,       •     Communities have lost cohesiveness for many
nor are ideas discussed on how to achieve it. For                     of the same reasons that the traditional leaders
example, in political elections there are no platforms of             have lost authority. Communities rarely work
                                                                                                                     163

     together any more, nor do they come together                   the integration of traditional and modern
     often to discuss issues.                                       approaches to the management of natural
 •   The extraordinarily complex traditional system                 resources will be difficult and will require building
     of land tenure causes frequent disagreements                   understanding and trust through common
     over ownership and use and is an obstacle to                   interests.
     coherent regulation of the use of natural                 •    Achieving development of tourism beyond its
     resources and to investment for development.                   present basic level will require innovative
 •   Traditional systems for the management of                      approaches to working within the land tenure
     natural resources are significantly weakened,                  system and new mechanisms for partnership
     partly because of the general weakening of                     between developers and communities for
     traditional authority, but especially because of               common gain and true development.
     the introduction of technology not anticipated            •    A major task will be to develop a state strategic
     within the traditional system.                                 plan in which vision, objectives, actions, and
 •   Environmental sustainability is currently not                  implementation plans are established for the
     directly addressed in traditional systems or                   whole state. This must then be realized through
     adequately addressed in government functions.                  the establishment of policies, enabling legislation,
     While individuals in both systems are very                     implementation mechanisms, enforcement,
     concerned for the future sustainability of the                 monitoring, and evaluation.
     culture and the environment, they are not yet
     integrated into a planning process to achieve          Opportunities
     that sustainability.
 •   Very little in the way of policy or economic or           •    The traditional system is weakened but still
     political direction is written. Most Yapese may                sufficiently intact to be a strong force for
     agree on many issues or values, but it is seldom               sustainable management of natural resources,
     possible to find the position in written form. Yap             but it must be informed of issues and engaged
     has a tradition of verbal history and much that                in a partnership with state government.
     is widely agreed remains unwritten.                       •    The education system is strong and dynamic,
 •   The Yapese culture is very nonconfrontational                  and bringing understanding of common goals
     and public debate is rare, even on issues crucial              and a vision for the future of Yap to school
     to the future of the state. There is no common                 children may be the most effective means to
     expression of a vision for the future of Yap, from             reach the larger population in the long run.
     the government or from the traditional system,            •    A new state government is in the early stages of
     nor is there any forum that encourages the                     developing its policies and has expressed the
     discussion of ideas.                                           desire to establish better communications
                                                                    between the state government and the
Challenges                                                          communities.
                                                               •    Tacit agreement among the people on a vision
 •   The overriding challenge is to make the                        for the future of Yap is widespread, and the
     traditional systems of leadership and community                process of debating and articulating that vision
     feel that they are partners with the state                     from the ground up should require only the
     government in moving forward toward true                       leadership and the open forum in which to make
     development that bring benefits for all and is                 it happen.
     environmentally sustainable.                              •    Opportunities for the development of ecotourism
 •   Establishing good communications between the                   are excellent, but they will require partnerships
     government and community and traditional                       between developers and communities. In turn,
     leadership will be the greatest challenge. It must             such partnerships and developments have the
     be done in a manner that is truly collaborative                potential to greatly strengthen the communities,
     and not patronizing on the part of either party.               the traditional leadership, and the collaboration
 •   Reaching agreement among traditional leaders                   between traditional and government systems of
     and government regulators and managers over                    natural resource management.

                                                          PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
164

                                                             Collectively they go a long way toward making up a
Recommendations
                                                             larger strategy for environmentally, socially, and
                                                             economically sustainable development for Yap.
      The following recommendations reflect the
comments and the suggestions of the people of Yap and            It is easier and perhaps more understandable to
are made with reference to the conditions and issues in      address the elements of that strategy rather than a single
Yap. The strategy and actions are specific to the needs      very large continuum. They are therefore presented as
of Yap. But they address problems that are pervasive         four strategic elements:
among the Pacific island countries.
                                                               •      Identify shared goals and plan strategically;
Strategy                                                       •      Build government-to-community communication;
                                                               •      Strengthen community cohesion and action; and
     Yap currently has unsustainable patterns of use of        •      Promote public-private partnerships.
its natural resources and faces the risk of serious and
possibly irreversible depletion of those resources.              At present the potential for cooperation is good but
Moreover, its economy is heavily dependent on a tourism      the environment for its realization is weak, and
sector that is in turn dependent on the condition of those   the mainstreaming of traditional environmental
same natural resources, lacks any development plan,          management and the formation of partnerships for
and faces significant obstacles to growth in the             development are unlikely until actions are taken to
traditional tenure of the land and water.                    correct the underlying problems of institutional
                                                             structures and the lack of communication. The
     The two problems may have different roots, but the      subsequent recommendations concerning goals/
possible solutions are interrelated. Both require            strategy/planning, strengthening communities, and
collaboration and partnerships between public and            improving communications between government and
private entities. In order for those partnerships to         traditional leaders and communities will collectively
develop, there must develop an identification of shared      create the conditions in which public-private partnerships
values and objectives, better communications between         and the integration of traditional and modern practices
the modern and traditional sectors, a strengthening of       for resource management will be possible.
communities and traditional leadership, and a common
strategy and plan for the future of Yap against which to           Identify Shared Goals and Plan Strategically
measure individual actions and ventures.
                                                                  Clear and agreed commonly held goals and
     Integration of traditional and modern approaches        direction are essential, both for the management of
to the management of natural resources, like the             natural resources and for the development of tourism,
development of ecotourism, requires that the traditional     and the two must be internally consistent.
and modern, the community and the government, the
private and the public sectors all communicate better            Most Yapese agree on what they want for Yap:
and understand one another’s values and objectives.          respect for traditional values, controlled progress into
While genuine differences are sure to remain, they can       the modern economy, better education and health care,
be better managed and compensated when mutual                development of high-end ecotourism, preservation of the
misunderstanding and suspicion are reduced through           environment, better infrastructure, etc. But these issues
honest exchange.                                             have not been openly discussed in any forum, and no
                                                             generally accepted statement of a vision for Yap or of
     The strategic recommendations below address the         how the commonly held values and objectives will be
cultural and political roots of problems in both natural     achieved has evolved.
resource management and tourism development. The
elements of the strategy are focused on the                        Economic and social development, especially
environmental sustainability of the management of            including achievement of sustainable use of natural
natural resources and the development of the tourism         resources, must be based on broad agreement about
industry, but they support all aspects of development.       what the government and the traditional communities
                                                                                                                        165

are trying to achieve and on the values and priorities            organization must exist in order for the community to
that that vision comprises. So long as there is neither           engage in the discussion of state values and goals, but
open discussion of issues nor broad agreement on values           the very act of participating in the forum and engaging
and a future for Yap, it will be very difficult to integrate      in the discussion as a community will build community
the traditional forms of natural resource management              cohesion and a sense of community empowerment.
with modern management techniques. Integration
requires that the tools and leverage of traditional                    Building shared values and goals and a vision,
authority and community cohesiveness work together                strategy, and action plan for Yap should be widely
with the science, expertise, and financial resources of           debated and involve a cross-section of the entire
the state government to achieve common objectives for             community, including government, traditional, and
the sustainable use of natural resources.                         private sectors. Implementation actions and committees
                                                                  should include representatives from traditional
    Both government and traditional leaders must truly            communities, the private sector, government, and NGOs
believe in the importance of the integrated and                   who share the same goals, vision, and inspiration—to
sustainable management and development of all natural             improve the quality of life of the people of Yap.
resources for the effort to be successful. Development
of a state vision and strategy will fail if they do not. Both         The entire process of building a consensus should
groups must repeat the same message down the ranks,               proceed from a clear strategy of its own, which should
to the different sectors of government, to the private            be agreed among representatives of the various parties
sector, and to the traditional communities.                       and sectors involved. It should start with informal
                                                                  mediation among leaders of the traditional and modern
     A forum is therefore needed for discussion of values         sectors to find basic agreement on their own values and
and aspirations for the future of Yap. The forum is               objectives and on a process for building a state vision
figurative, not literal, and may have many aspects,               and strategy. This agreement would then probably
including everything from the traditional village council         include an extensive process of state government
to debate between differing viewpoints on television.             conferring with community councils, in the communities,
Government and traditional leaders must share their               to discuss goals and values, while simultaneously
viewpoints in front of the general citizenry, so that a           building communications channels for the long term.
consensus of shared values, goals, and objectives can
grow. And in the village council and in the television                 As the people become more involved in the debate
debate both traditional and modern viewpoints must be             through community councils and the media, the debate
represented, in order to bridge the communications gap            would then move up to a state-level forum or convention
and resulting suspicion that have grown between                   where decisions could be drawn and directions set for
traditional and modern systems of leadership.                     the future, to be passed back to the communities for their
                                                                  further debate and eventual concurrence. A second
     Identifying shared goals and building a vision and           round of state-level discussion could be required, but
a strategy for the future of Yap are introduced here as           the process of reaching agreement should not be forced
the first strategic objective because they are the                and all parties should feel that they have had adequate
paramount and overriding requirement for all aspects              opportunity to make their viewpoint heard.
of balanced and sustainable growth. But they are also
integral to two of the other strategic elements: building              This process will include the issues of management
government-to-community communications and                        of natural resources and the development of tourism,
strengthening community cohesion and action.                      but it should touch on other important issues for the
                                                                  future (e.g., use of resources, foreign investment, and
     Better communications between the government                 the development of industry) and encompass broad
and the traditional sectors is needed in order for a forum        values and the general future of Yap.
on state values and goals to be effective, and the act of
opening public discussion on these issues will in itself               Specific actions to implement the strategic objective
open new channels of communication and enhance                    of identifying shared goals and planning strategically are
existing ones. Similarly, some level of community                 presented in “Actions” below.

                                                                PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
166

      Build Government-to-Community Communications                  The schools can also be an important part of the
                                                                broader forum for discussion of values, goals, and
      Communications between the state government               strategy for the future of Yap. Children who are
and the communities are poor. For a number of complex           themselves asked to discuss and consider such questions
reasons, the councils of traditional leaders set up to          can both take ideas home to their parents and prompt
facilitate communication do not fulfill their intended role     the parents themselves to consider the issues.
well, and occasional forays of agencies of state
government into the municipalities only serve to                     It is essential that a vision for the future of Yap
underline to the people in the villages how great is the        develop from the community up to the state level. This
gap of understanding between state and community.               vision will serve many purposes, as the basis for selecting
                                                                courses of action that integrate traditional and modern
    The government is seen as too secretive and as not          concepts for the management of natural resources as
communicating sufficiently with the communities. As a           the basis for decisions on the development of tourism,
result, many people in the villages assume the                  and for many more issues. But for all of these, it is
government does not care about them. A more                     important that forums conducted at the community level
comprehensive newsletter or newspaper is needed and             identify the community visions for the future, and that
the government should help to support it by paying for          those collective visions filter up to form a state vision
space in which to communicate its plans and actions to          and strategy. A vision developed at the top and passed
the people. The governor and other senior officials             down to the communities will be seen as one more
should talk to the people regularly by radio, and issues        example of poor communication between the state and
of national values and goals should be debated on radio         the communities.
and on television. These and more should be part of a
concerted government program to communicate better                   Specific actions to implement the strategic objective
with the people.                                                of building government to community communications
                                                                are presented in “Actions” below.
      The state government must take the initiative to
build effective channels of communications through                  Strengthen Community Cohesion and Action
systematic contact. The same visits of government that
may create confusion when done occasionally will,                   Traditional management of natural resources was
if done systematically and with a willingness of                based on the needs of the community, but more
government to listen rather than direct, gradually create       importantly on cohesion within the community that
understanding through which the communities and                 caused its members to communicate often among
the state government can develop cooperation.                   themselves and to understand their needs and their best
Cooperation in small ways and useful projects can               interests. The advent of the cash economy and modern
steadily build understanding and willingness to listen          technology has caused the community to break down
from both sides. Development programs must also                 as a cohesive entity. As a result its members do not
support the efforts of state agencies (e.g., for health care,   understand the issues of sustainable use of natural
agriculture, environment, and marine resources) to              resources and they are no longer able to act as an entity
mount well-thought-out and systematic processes of              to enforce their collective will on issues such as
communications with the communities and the people.             preventing widespread poaching and the use of gill nets.

    The public education system should play an                       Strengthening the communities will facilitate and
important role in building communications. Children are         stabilize the difficult transition for the traditional culture
taught about the environment in school, but not enough          of Yap to the modern cash economy. More important
about the value or effectiveness of traditional methods of      for the management of natural resources, more cohesive
natural resource management to keep the new generation          communities may be the only entities capable of
from dismissing the traditional ways, including those for       enforcing decisions reached collaboratively by
resource management. It is essential to reach the younger       government and communities on resource management.
people in the community with information, while at the          And as to the development of tourism, given the complex
same time showing respect for the traditional leaders.          system of land and water tenure, the community may
                                                                                                                       167

be the only feasible partner for the development of              destination. In it the community would hold an equity
ecotourism requiring access to substantial areas of land         interest in exchange for the guarantee of access to the
and water.                                                       needed land and resources, and would take a
                                                                 progressively active role in the actual management of
    State and external assistance programs should                the facility. Without exception, those asked answered
address creating community awareness and cohesion,               that they felt it would be the only way such a facility
by supporting community forums and education for the             could gain access to the needed land and water
community concerning its common problems and                     resources; they believed that communities (whether
possible solutions. Development programs should also             village or municipality) would be willing to incorporate
help provide the means for communities to take action            if needed in order to be a viable legal partner in such a
to address their problems (e.g., materials for repairing         venture.
traditional fish traps or for marking boundaries of marine
preserves). Strengthened and focused communities are                 It will be important to further investigate and
not only the most important tool for sustainable                 describe the possible methods to carry out such
management of natural resources, but without them, in            partnerships and to build the business and community
the absence of an enforcement capability that will always        advisory services and legal support to actually initiate
be both too expensive and culturally unacceptable,               such ventures. The state government can play a major
sustainable management may not be achievable at all.             part in business-to-community partnerships and should
                                                                 develop guidelines for ventures that will minimize
     Specific actions to implement the strategic objective       misunderstanding or conflict and maximize benefit to
of strengthening community cohesion and action are               communities. Investors will also want the assurance of
presented in “Actions” below.                                    the government that their actions are consistent with
                                                                 state policy and regulations. While government
    Promote Public-Private Partnerships                          involvement should be limited, it can assure that projects
                                                                 are in line with state and community interests,
     While public-private partnerships are relatively            regulations, and guidelines.
unknown at present, the concept fits well with traditional
concepts of the role of the community or village in the              Similarly, public-private partnerships among state
management of resources. Traditionally, the community            government, communities, and private owners of the
leadership has an important voice in the use of resources,       rights to land and water will be essential to the
even though ownership is individual. It is therefore             integration of traditional and modern methods of natural
logical that the community should be a partner in a              resource management and the successful future
venture that involves the use of resources, especially if        management of natural resources for sustainability. The
multiple owners in the community are involved.                   state government’s limited authority over the use of
Partnerships will provide stability by engaging more             natural resources makes it imperative to enter into a
diverse stakeholders in the active management of                 partnership relationship with the community and private
projects and by preventing the owners of the resources           owners in order to manage the resources in an organized
involved from feeling that they may have been taken              fashion to meet common objectives.
advantage of by the investor or entrepreneur. They are
a workable idea and should be supported through                      The nature of these partnerships will evolve with
development programs at all levels.                              time and experience, but in order to work at all they
                                                                 require good communications and the establishment of
     Development of ecotourism requires access to                clear common goals and objectives. A successful
substantial land and water resources. With the prevailing        partnership must be transparent and must meet some
complex system of land ownership, partnerships may               of the objectives of each party involved.
be the only way that development will be possible. Many
different people were asked their opinion of the feasibility          Specific actions to implement the strategic objective
of a public-private partnership between a foreign investor       of promoting public-private partnerships are presented
and a community for the development of an ecotourism             in “Actions” below.



                                                               PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
168

Actions                                                            each municipality, and if possible within
                                                                   individual villages or groups of villages, on the
     Each of the following recommended actions has                 issues of shared values and goals and the
been suggested by one or more persons interviewed in               citizens’ vision of the future of Yap. Involve
Yap. They are grouped and presented here in the same               multiple representatives of state government,
structures as the strategic initiatives above. In many             from the legislature and the executive and its
cases they overlap and would support each other.                   various functional agencies (e.g., environment,
Obviously, they collectively make up a larger program              education, health, marine resources). While not
for environmentally, socially, and economically                    every part of government can be involved in
sustainable development. It remains easier and perhaps             each discussion, all parts of government should
more understandable, however, to address them in                   have the opportunity to engage in some
groups rather than as a single very large continuum.               discussions and to sense the community
                                                                   perspective.
      The individual items are specific actions that the       •   Involve the two councils of traditional leaders
government can take, in most cases collaboratively with            in the consultations between government and
the other stakeholders, to carry out the strategic                 communities. They can form the interface and
directions outlined above. Within a category the action            make the necessary arrangements. Their
items are presented in a loose temporal sequence in                involvement will both facilitate the discussions
which they should be undertaken, though some actions               and strengthen their expected role as an
might be logically initiated simultaneously.                       intermediary between the traditional and
                                                                   modern systems.
      Identify Shared Goals and Plan Strategically             •   If it is seen as too difficult to approach the larger
                                                                   issues of the future of Yap directly, an alternative
  •      Initiate a process of identifying and defining            approach is to stimulate an open dialog starting
         shared values and goals for the future of Yap—            with an all-stakeholder conference on the issue
         in essence a state vision. Start with small group         of natural resource management. The discussion
         discussions among a few leaders representing              can then develop into the need for a state vision
         both the modern and traditional leadership                and direction in order to make any strategy or
         sectors, the private sector, and NGOs and other           plan for management of the natural resources
         stakeholders. Establish this group as a state             work. This approach may be more palatable than
         committee to identify the probable common                 a direct approach to the larger issues of a state
         ground and the key issues to address, and to set          vision.
         a strategy and plan for the process of developing     •   Based on the findings in the community, draft
         a state vision and strategy.                              a set of issues and apparent values and
  •      It may be useful to bring in an outside party with        positions of the communities and other
         some experience in state visioning and strategic          stakeholders with regard to each. These
         planning to organize and facilitate the initial           should be circulated and publicized in the
         discussions and the design of the subsequent              newsletter and aired in radio and television
         process. The individual should be from outside            debate.
         the culture in order to have objectivity and the      •   Convene a state forum to develop a strategic
         ability to suggest without restraint, but he/she          plan for Yap. The convention or conference
         should be careful to facilitate rather than direct.       should have widespread stakeholder
  •      Organize the process of developing a broad-               representation, and it is important that no
         based and integrated state vision and strategy            significant stakeholder be excluded. An outside
         from the community level up. Government must              moderator with skills in strategic planning might
         support the process of municipal and village              be of assistance. It is important that the
         meetings and other forums needed to build a               conference start by addressing values and goals,
         state vision and strategy from the bottom up. A           and strategic direction, and not limit itself to
         systematic process of discussions at the                  specific action items as did the First Yap State
         community level should occur, at a minimum in             Economic and Social Summit.
                                                                                                                        169

•      Convene a regional forum for the discussion and           •      The governor and other senior officials should
       exchange of experience on the development of                     talk to the people by regular radio or television
       state/national vision, goals, and strategic plans.               programs, and national issues should be
       With so many physical, cultural, and economic                    discussed and debated among different
       issues in common, the Pacific island countries                   stakeholders on radio and on television.
       could gain much from one another’s experiences.           •      The media campaign and public debate should
                                                                        also be used as a means to preserve knowledge
    Build Government-to-Community Communications                        of traditional culture, and especially traditional
                                                                        methods of managing natural resources.
•      Establish a systematic program in which
       representatives of various elements of govern-                Strengthen Community Cohesion and Action
       ment visit communities to discuss the concerns
       of the community and what government is trying            •      Organize a statewide program of community
       to do to meet the needs of the community. These                  revitalization. This program will be managed by
       discussions should occur at a minimum in each                    representatives of the communities and of NGOs
       municipality and if possible within individual                   concerned with community development: it
       villages or groups of villages. Involve multiple                 could be an independent agency, or it could be
       representatives of state government, from the                    embedded within an NGO such as YAPCAP.
       legislature and the executive and its various             •      Set up small-scale pilot projects to test principles
       functional agencies (e.g., environment,                          and strategies, and then use lessons learned
       education, health, marine resources). While not                  from these pilot projects to design new larger-
       every part of government can be involved in                      scale programs. Use small projects that rebuild
       each discussion, all parts of government should                  community pride and that require the
       have the opportunity to engage in some                           collaboration of many individuals within the
       discussions and to sense the community                           community, such as rebuilding stone paths and
       perspective.                                                     traditional buildings. Try to develop projects for
•      At some point the community discussions with                     the sustainable management of natural
       the government may overlap with the process                      resources, such as rebuilding stone fish traps or
       of seeking community perspective on values and                   surveying natural resources.
       goals for a state strategy. Unlike the focused            •      Establish grant and loan funds for development
       discussions on goals and values, however, this                   and revitalization actions undertaken by
       process should be ongoing and permanent and                      communities. Make these easily accessible to
       should address the more practical issues that                    all communities, subject to performance-based
       will cause the community to feel that the state                  conditions. The state government should provide
       government is responsive to its concerns and                     financial support for the convening of
       needs. The practical issues of natural resource                  community forums to discuss issues, including
       management will be a continuing theme in such                    management of natural resources.
       meetings.                                                 •      Train community leaders, both interested
•      Local government organizations and NGOs                          traditional leaders and emerging new
       concerned with traditional authority should                      nontraditional leaders, in how to revitalize
       organize together to take an active role in the                  community cohesiveness.
       statewide program of outreach to communities              •      Send someone well rooted within each
       and to traditional leaders.                                      municipality outside the community (within FSM
•      The government should set out an organized                       or overseas) for training in business development
       media program to communicate with the people.                    and natural resource management. Select
       A more comprehensive newsletter or newspaper                     someone young who is not offended by training
       is needed and the government should help to                      and yet who will have the stature to advise the
       support it by paying for space in which to                       traditional leaders when he/she returns.
       communicate its plans and actions to the                  •      Introduce special materials on traditional
       people.                                                          leadership systems and the traditional role of

                                                            PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
170

         the community into public education, possibly               solutions to the obstacles and develop any
         through a traditional leader who is a roving                needed legislation or regulations.
         lecturer to the school system. Develop guidelines    •      Convene a regional workshop on the past
         on how the schools can help to facilitate                   experience and future advantages of public-
         community communication and revitalization.                 private partnerships for development. Examine
  •      Convene a regional workshop on the                          how they fit within the traditional systems in the
         revitalization of communities and the traditional           various cultures and how they can be used to
         systems of authority in order to generate                   best advantage to achieve sustainable manage-
         exchange of experience across countries and                 ment of natural resources.
         cultures.
                                                                  Integrate Traditional and Modern Management of
      Promote Public-Private Partnerships                         Natural Resources

  •      Train legal counseling services, business            •      Empower the ESC as the planner, coordinator,
         development services, and municipal leaders in              and integrator of state programs to achieve
         the issues and techniques of developing public-             sustainable management of natural resources.
         private partnerships between developers and                 It already has a membership that well represents
         communities, for tourism and for other projects,            both the modern and the traditional systems, and
         and between developers/investors and the state              it is the best positioned organization to seek the
         government for infrastructure projects.                     practical means to integrate the traditional and
  •      Establish tax and other incentives in the                   modern systems of management. It should
         investment and tax regulations for development              remain an independent body, not a state
         ventures that are built on public-private                   organization. But it should have the endorsement
         partnerships.                                               of both the state executive government and the
  •      Establish a revolving loan fund for private sector          councils of traditional leaders as the planning
         development to provide funds for the develop-               and integrating agency to find the best solutions
         ment of business proposals, the incubation of               and to marshal and allocate the available
         entrepreneurs, the marketing of opportunities,              resources, public and private, local and external,
         and seed money to start or expand small                     to achieve sustainable management of natural
         investments using public-private partnerships.              resources.
         This might be administered through the FSM           •      Support partnership initiatives such as the new
         Development Bank, with the technical support                IWP program to establish marine protected
         of the Small Business Development Center and                areas. Examine closely the progress and results
         the advice of YAPCAP on community issues.                   of this initiative, to identify how future
  •      The state government should establish a public              partnerships between the government and
         information program and a publicly available                communities and individual land and water
         training program to provide information and                 rights holders can be better designed for
         training for village landowners to equip them               collaboration among government, resource
         with the business, financial, and management                owners, communities, and traditional leaders.
         skills that will enable them to start small                 Note particularly the motivations of the resource
         businesses, including small-scale tourism                   owners and traditional leaders to participate in
         facilities, using various forms of partnerships.            the partnerships and how they gain from the
  •      Examine possible ways of using land held in                 process. As neither party has sufficient authority,
         the traditional system as collateral for loans.             resources, or skills to accomplish sustainable
         Involve the financial and banking community in              management of natural resources alone, it is
         a careful analysis of how the traditional land              essential that they collaborate in order to
         tenure system limits the capitalization of land             achieve the objective. But each party to the
         and thereby hinders domestic sources of                     partnership must achieve its own objective in
         investment financing because landowners                     the process in order for the process to continue
         cannot use their land as collateral. Identify               or to be repeated.
                                                                                                                    171

•   Establish a state program to promote public-                     regulations. The traditional leaders and
    private partnerships for the sustainable                         communities are the best positioned to control
    management of natural resources. This program                    excessive demands on the resources, but they
    should cover both marine and terrestrial                         are likely to do so only if they see that it is in
    resources, such as the reintroduction of                         their own best interest. This becomes possible
    traditional methods of agriculture. Build on the                 as part of the larger processes of establishing
    experience of the IWP program and if needed                      communications between state government and
    seek the assistance of outside parties such as                   traditional leaders, strengthening communities
    the South Pacific Regional Environment                           and traditional leadership, and educating
    Programme in mediating among the interests                       communities and traditional leaders about the
    of state, resource owners, and traditional                       issues and importance of sustainable manage-
    leadership.                                                      ment of natural resources.
•   Provide special training or briefings for members         •      Convene a regional forum focused specifically
    of the councils of traditional leaders and for                   on the integration of traditional and modern
    other traditional leaders, to enhance their                      approaches to the management of natural
    understanding of issues in natural resource                      resources. While this subject has been raised in
    management and the relationships and common                      a number of regional and Pacific area forums, it
    interests of traditional and modern approaches                   has not enjoyed the exclusive and focused
    to management. Assist them in conveying these                    attention that it requires, and there are still few
    concepts to their constituencies. Draw the                       concrete conclusions on how to facilitate such
    members of the councils into a central role                      integration.
    in seeking ways to integrate traditional
    and modern methods of natural resource                        Develop Tourism
    management.
•   Provide short-term training for a variety of state        •      Commission a study of the possibilities for
    government employees and local experts and                       tourism development in Yap. Focus on ecolo-
    consultants in natural resource management, so                   gically sustainable tourism and include activities
    that they can participate in the process of                      other than diving. Address issues of traditional
    government-to-community meetings and                             landownership and how it may be an obstacle
    communicate more knowledge more effectively                      and the possible ways to deal with the issue.
    to the communities.                                              Examine possibilities for community-culture-
•   Provide medium-term training for a select                        based tourism and how such tourism might also
    number of key individuals (program managers                      serve to preserve traditional culture, rebuild
    and innovative leaders, in government agencies                   traditional artifacts such as stone paths and clan
    and NGOs) in natural resource management and                     platforms, and strengthen communities.
    community leadership, so that they can lead and           •      Based on the analysis above and on the work
    animate programs to communicate more                             on the shared goals and values identified in the
    knowledge more effectively to the communities.                   overall visioning and planning for Yap, develop
•   Secure outside experts in natural resource                       a tourism development strategy and plan for
    management to accompany local teams in                           Yap. Involve representatives of both the modern
    outreach programs to reach communities.                          and traditional sectors in the planning process.
    Experts from outside the culture, especially off-                Hold public discussion in order to get feedback
    islanders from other Pacific cultures, can make                  on the important elements of the strategy and
    a valuable contribution, because they have                       plan.
    inherent status vis-à-vis the traditional                 •      Seek outside technical assistance in building a
    leadership and they help to attract attention to                 state strategy for the development of tourism
    the issues discussed.                                            and associated air and water transportation,
•   Seek the participation of traditional leadership                 with special concern for ecotourism and its
    in improved enforcement of both traditional                      interaction with the management of natural
    restraints to use of resources and modern state                  resources.

                                                         PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
172

  •     With a clear strategy and plan for tourism                  The advent of modern technology, the cash
        development, review existing law and regulation         economy, and other forces such as religion have had
        for consistency and for support of the chosen           similar impacts on traditional cultures across the
        direction. Initiate new legislation to fill any voids   Pacific. All are in various stages of transition from the
        or remove any obstacles to implementing the             traditional to the modern world. Consequently, island
        plan, such as obstacles to encouraging the types        communities also share the decline of traditional
        of investment and partnerships needed to realize        authority, the difficulty of communication between the
        the tourism development plan.                           modern government and the traditional leaders and
  •     Initiate coordinated action to attract needed           communities, and in most cases the weak and
        foreign investment for both the tourism                 unsustainable management of natural resources.
        destinations and the service infrastructure (e.g.,
        transportation, medical services, etc.) required            Hence, conclusions and recommendations drawn
        to realize the tourism development plan.                from one island nation should have broad replicability
  •     Convene a regional workshop on ecotourism               for policy and strategy across the region.
        development and its relationship to the                 Implementation, of course, will need to be tailored to
        sustainable management of natural resources.            the specific situation under consideration.
        Yap and other islands have similar resources
        and are targeting the same tourism market.                    The approach for development of tourism in Yap is
        They can in many ways learn from the                    very applicable to other Pacific island countries, and
        successes and failures of similar development           some of the other islands are already on the road of
        and implementation plans on other Pacific               similar development as proposed for Yap. Yap could well
        islands, and from the impacts that similar              learn from the mistakes and successes of such countries
        development may have had on the sustainability          as the Fiji Islands, Samoa, Cook Islands, and Tahiti.
        of natural resources.
                                                                Next Steps for Strategic Planning
Applicability to Other
Pacific Island Countries                                             The strategies above identified through this study
                                                                of the State of Yap are similar to those that would be
    Pacific island countries enjoy similar remoteness           employed for most Pacific island countries:
and isolation, small land masses, fragile ecosystems,
small populations, weak economic development, and                 •      identify shared goals and plan strategically,
culture and traditions related to land tenure and natural         •      build government-to-community communication,
resources. They tend to lack skilled personnel and the            •      strengthen community cohesion and action, and
financial resources for economic development other than           •      promote public-private partnerships.
for fishing, agricultural, and tourism industries.
                                                                    There is often a disconnect of interests and values
     Pacific island people share a voyaging tradition and       among the traditional community, the modern
their societies and cultures have evolved over the              government, and the private sector. There is seldom a
millennia through migration. While each may have                common vision in specific terms, although most might
different imperatives and local traditions, the island          agree on generalized terms such as improvements in
cultures still have much in common as a result of               the economy, education, health care, and management
geographic conditions, ethnic origins, regional history,        of natural resources. Yet, each sector perceives and
and economic conditions.                                        defines these terms according to its own set of priorities,
                                                                and its vision comes through different lenses; their
    They also share a broad concern for the preservation        common vision suffers in specific terms from poorly
of their natural environment and for sustainable                developed and ineffectual relationships among all three
development, but sometimes their actual development             sectors.
programs are poorly designed and controlled and are
not so sustainable.                                                The four strategy recommendations above,
                                                                however, would create an opportunity for taking new,
                                                                                                                      173

innovative, progressive directions that not only provide       the common vision and values. They proceed together
solutions to the challenges within the State of Yap, but       in an organic process of continual change.
also address challenges faced by a majority of other
Pacific island countries.                                           So the next steps for a nation or a state, whether in
                                                               integrating traditional and modern methods of natural
    How does one create effective partnerships and             resource development or in other issues of development,
what are the catalysts? To begin, one must recognize           are on a dual track. Some discrete actions need to be
that effective partnerships are not products of a process      taken early to improve community cohesion and
or of a set of policies. They are the process itself. They     communications between modern and traditional
are dynamic. They must constantly adjust to new                society. At the same time, the process should start, slowly
conditions and challenges. They must be flexible, capable      and carefully at first, to explore common values,
of adaptation and compromise. Therefore, the action            concerns, and goals toward the evolution and
items must address the process and the products                articulation of a common vision.
separately. This has great advantages. While attention
is directed to developing a particular product, meaningful         The items outlined in the “Actions” section of this
partnerships can evolve among the three sectors.               report are the first stage in establishing a knowledge
Attention to which sector has the most influence, the          base, identifying stakeholders, and building a
most benefit, or the most self-serving results disappears.     formative dialogue. They will create the conditions in
The common vision becomes intertwined in the process           which members of communities can better work
rather than being forced or manipulated up front.              together in the interests of the community and in
                                                               which the state government can work collaboratively
    Therefore, building a common vision and values and         with communities and traditional leadership toward
evolving partnerships for specific products are an             common goals and values. The results in
iterative process. Some existing common vision helps a         implementing such action items will demonstrate
partnership to take definition, and the experience of          when an island country is ready for a second stage of
developing partnerships for specific goals helps to shape      engagement.




                                                             PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
174
                                                                                                                     175

References:


ADB (Asian Development Bank). 1992. Environment and Development; A Pacific Island Perspective. Manila.
     . 1993. Women in Development: Federated States of Micronesia. Manila: ADB.
     . 1997. Pacific Studies Series. Federated States of Micronesia 1996 Economic Report. Manila.
       . 1999a. Sustainable Development: Asian and Pacific Perspectives. Based on the regional Consultative
        Meeting on Sustainable Development, November 1998. Manila.
       . 1999b. Federated States of Micronesia Human Resource Study: Health and Education. Manila.
       . 2000a. Technical Assistance for Capacity Building to Promote Traditional Environmental Management
        in the Pacific Developing Member Countries – RETA 5913. A technical assistance paper. Manila.
       . 2000b. A Pacific Strategy for the New Millennium. Manila: Office of Pacific Operations.
       . 2002a. Technical Assistance for the Formulation of the Pacific Region Environmental Strategy 2004-
        2008. A technical assistance paper. Manila.
       . 2002b. Federated States of Micronesia Country Strategy and Program Update (2003-2005). A report for
        the Board of Directors of ADB. Manila.
       . 2002c. Technical Assistance for the Climate Change Adaptation Program for the Pacific. A technical
        assistance paper. Manila.
      . 2002d. Country Assistance Plan: Federated States of Micronesia (2001-2003). Manila.
      . 2002e. Technical Assistance to the Federated States of Micronesia for Preparing the Omnibus
       Infrastructure Development Project. A technical assistance paper. Manila.
Chieng, C., and M. Falanruw. 2002. Chothowliy yuu Waab, A Mandate of Yap’s Traditional Leadership. A
       conference paper. Presentation at the Traditional Leadership Panel Plenary Session of the 21st Annual
       Pacific Islands Environment Conference on Merging Tradition with Modern Technology. Koror, June
       2002.
Falanruw, M. 1994. Traditional Fishing in Yap. In Science of Pacific Island Peoples, Volume I: Ocean and
       Coastal Studies, edited by J. Morrison, P. Geraghty, and L. Crowl. Suva, Fiji Islands: Institute of Pacific
       Studies, University of the South Pacific.
Falanruw, M., and Lubuw Falanruw. 2000. Ancient Stone Fish Weirs as a Modern Pacific Alternative. Paper
       presented at PACON 2000, 5–9 June, Honolulu.
Federated States of Micronesia Development Bank. 2002. 2001 Annual Report. Pohnpei.
Fifth Legislature of the State of Yap, Fourth Regular Session, 2002. A Bill For An Act, No 5-187, Title 18 of
        the Yap State Code, Chapter 12: Coastal and Aquatic Resources Conservation Act.
Government of the Federated States of Micronesia. 1999. Proceedings of the 2nd FSM Economic Summit.
       Pohnpei.
      . 2001. Department of Economic Affairs. 2000 FSM-Wide Census of Population and Housing: Preliminary
       Counts. Kosrae, Department of Economic Affairs.
      . 2002a. National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. Pohnpei.
       . 2002b. Department of Economic Affairs. FSM Visitors Board. , National Tourism Marketing & Promotion
        Action Plan. Pohnpei, Department of Economic Affairs.
       . 2002c. FSM Infrastructure Development Plan, Draft Final Report, Volume VI, Infrastructure Support for
        Tourism Development. A study prepared by Nathan Associates Inc. Pohnpei, Department of
        Transportation, Communications & Infrastructure.
Government of Yap. 1979. Constitution of the State of Yap. 1979.
      . No Date. Code of Public Law of the State of Yap. Title 5: Traditional Leaders and Traditions. Code of
       Public Law of the State of Yap. Colonia.
James, Roger. 2002. Local Communities, Customs and Conservation. A conference paper from the Seventh
       Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas. Apia: South Pacific Regional
       Environment Programme.



                                                         PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
176

      Lakau, Andrew. 1997. Customary Land Tenure and Development. Pacific Studies Series, Roundtable
            Proceedings on Sociocultural Issues and Economic Development in the Pacific Islands, Volume II. Manila:
            Asian Development Bank.
      Nakalevu, Taito. 2002. Climate Change Adaptation: A Status Report of Adaptation Programmes in the
            Region. A conference paper from the Seventh Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation
            and Protected Areas. Apia, Samoa: South Pacific Regional Environment Programme.
      Palau Council of Chiefs. 1999. “Declaration of the First Micronesian Traditional Leaders Conference. Koror.
      Shea, Eileen L., et al. 2001. Preparing for a Changing Climate: A Report of the Pacific Islands Regional Assessment
             Team for the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Honolulu: East-West Center, October 2001.
      Smith, A. 1994. Customary Marine Management Practices in Yap. In Science of Pacific Island Peoples, Volume
              I: Ocean and Coastal Studies, edited by J. Morrison, P. Geraghty, and L. Crowl. Suva, Fiji Islands:
              Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific.
      Tafileichig, Andy, and Akio Inoue. 2001. Marine Resources in Yap State, FSM: The Current Status of
              Customary and Traditional Regulation. Kagoshima University Research Center for the Pacific Islands,
           Occasional Papers No. 34, pp. 113–116, Part 1, Section 3, Report 5.
      Thaman, R. R. 2002. Island Life in the 21st Century: Current Status and Challenges for Mainstreaming the
           Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity in the Pacific Islands. A conference paper from
           the Seventh Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas. Apia, Samoa:
             South Pacific Regional Environment Programme.
      The Yap Institute of Natural Science. 1999. The Yap Almanac Calendar 2000: Towards a Pacific Alternative.
             Yap.
      Yap State Environmental Stewardship Consortium. 2001. Yap State Report to the Conference of Parties on
            the Convention on Biological Diversity. A final draft of the proposed biodiversity strategy and action
            plan. Yap.
      Yap State Government. 1966. The First Yap State Economic and Social Summit. Conference proceedings.
            Yap.
             . 1994. Yap State Marine Resources and Coastal Management Plan. Yap: Department of Resources and
              Development, Marine Resources Management Division.
             . 2002a. Declaration of the Second Micronesian Traditional Leaders Conference. Pohnpei.
             . 2002b. Yap State International Waters Project Proposal. A project proposal document. Yap, Department
              of Resources and Development, Marine Resources Management Division.
             . 2002c. 2001 Annual Statistical Yearbook: Yap State. Yap: Department of Economic Affairs, Yap Branch
              Statistics Office..
             . 2002d. Yap State Business License Regulations. Department of Resources and Development.
              November.
             . 2003a. Agriculture: Introduction to Agro-Forestry, Grade 6, Yap SEED New Baseline Curriculum. A
              public school text. Yap, Department of Education. Enterprising Department.
             . 2003b. English Language Arts 2 Reader, Grade 6, Yap SEED New Baseline Curriculum. A public school
             text. Yap, Department of Education. Enterprising Department.
                                                                 177




Appendixes




             PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
178
                                                                                                                 179


                                                     Appendix
                                           Persons Interviewed

•   Al Ganang, CEO/General Manager, Village View             •    Dave Vecella, General Manager, Beyond the Reef
    Resort                                                        Divers
•   Andrew Ruepong, Paramount Traditional Leader             •    James Gilmar, Director, Department of Resources
    and Associate Justice (Acting Chief Justice), Yap             and Development, Government of Yap
    State Court                                              •    James Limar, Director, Small Business Development
•   Andrew Yatilman, General Manager, Yap Visitors                Center, former developer and manager of Destiny
    Bureau, member of the Environmental Stewardship               Resort, member of the Council of Pilung
    Consortium and former Lt. Governor of Yap                •    Jesse Damel, Deputy Director, Department of
•   Andy Tafeilechit, Division Chief, Marine Resources            Resources and Development, Government of Yap
    Management Division, Dept. of Resources and              •    Jimmie Townsend, CEO, Moy Inc. (a business
    Development, Government of Yap                                development service with emphasis on preservation
•   Ben Tured, Attorney and Yap representative,                   of the traditional culture of Yap)
    Micronesia Legal Services Corporation                    •    Joe Habuchmai, Lieutenant Governor of Yap State
•   Berna Gorong, Editor, The Yap Networker (Yap’s           •    John Mangefel, first Governor of Yap, principal
    weekly newsletter)                                            member of the Yap State Environmental
•   Bill Acker, General Manager and CEO, Manta Ray                Stewardship Consortium, Chairman of the Board of
    Bay Hotel and Yap Divers                                      ACE
•   Bruno Tharngan, Acting Chairman, Council of              •    John Mootmag, Law Clerk to the Yap State Court
    Pilung (council of chiefs for the main island)           •    John Pong, Traditional Leader, Kadai Village,
•   Charles Chieng, Executive Director of Yap                     representative to the Council of Pilung
    Community Action Program, Chairman of Yap                •    John Wayaan, owner and manager, The Pathways
    Environmental Stewardship Consortium, Chairman                Hotel
    of the Board of Directors of the Environmental
                                                             •    Joleen Chumrod, student, granddaughter of Tamag,
    Protection Agency, representative to the Council of
                                                                  daughter of Sen. Ted Rutun
    Pilung, traditional leader
                                                             •    Joseph J. Urusemal, senator from Yap and Floor
•   Charles Falmeyog, Executive Director, KCCDO (a
                                                                  Leader, Congress of the FSM
    tourist attraction in Kadai village) and Customer
    Service Manager of Yap State Public Service              •    Kevin Rhodes, Consultant to South Pacific Regional
    Corporation                                                   Environment Programme for IWP

•   Charles S. Chiang, Member of the Yap State               •    Leo Flawaw, Administrator for the Council of Pilung
    Legislature and of the Committee on Resources,                and representative to the Council from the
    Education and Development                                     Municipality of Gagil

•   Charles Yalaarow, Manager, Yap participation in          •    Leo Pugram, Coordinator for Curriculum and
    Strategic Action Programme for the International              Instruction, Yap State Department of Education
    Waters of the Pacific Small Island Developing States     •    Leo Yinug, Director, Environmental Protection
    (IWP)                                                         Agency, Government of Yap
•   Christopher J. Buchun, loan officer, FSM                 •    Lonnie Fread, Manager, Yap Art Studio and Gallery
    Development Bank
                                                             •    Margie Falanruw, Director, Yap Institute of Natural
•   Christy Xavier, Publisher, The Yap Networker                  Sciences, regional representative for the US Forest
•   Cyril Chugrad, President, WAAB Corp.                          Service


                                                           PACIFIC REGION ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2005-2009 VOLUME 2
180

•     Michael Gaan, Chief, Commerce & Industries, Dept.    •   Ted Glenn, Executive Director, Academy For Culture
      of Resources and Development, Government of Yap          and Education of Yap
•     Michael Gumbiner, General Manager, Traders Ridge     •   Theo Thinnifel, Interim Manager, Yap Fishing
      Resort                                                   Authority, Government of Yap
•     Patricia Leon, The Nature Conservancy, Pohnpei,      •   Tiare Holm, The Nature Conservancy, Koror, Palau
      FSM                                                  •   Tomil, Representative to Council of Pilung
•     Peter Stelzer, Attorney, Public Defender’s Office,   •   Tony Falthin, Director of the Office of Rural
      Government of Yap                                        Development (FSM institution funded by USDA and
•     Peter Tharngan, Manager, Yap Branch, FSM                 providing loans primarily for housing)
      Development Bank                                     •   Tony Ganangiyan, President of Yap Cooperative
•     Robert Finnginan, Loan Officer, FSM Development
                      ,                                        Association, a private company, and Speaker of the
      Bank                                                     Yap State Legislature
•     Robert Ruecho, Governor of Yap State                 •   William Yad, Traditional Leader of Gachpar Village,
•     Sabino S. Sauchomal, Floor Leader of the Yap State       historian and translator for Historic Preservation
      Legislature                                              Office

•     Samson Samasoni, South Pacific Regional              •   Yuruw, Traditional Leader
      Environment Programme, Representative to Yap for
      IWP                                                       Names In the traditional system Yapese are given
                                                                Names:
•     Scott Davies, Manager, Media Shop, Yap State         a single name. The name relates to their land and is a
      Department of Education                              clan name but not a nuclear family name (i.e., not
•     Stan Fillmed, Founder and Owner of The Pathways      necessarily the same as the mother or the father). Where
      Hotel, Traditional Leader of Kadai Village           a western style name appears first it is a Christian or
                                                           baptismal name. Where there is a single name it is the
•     Tamag, Traditional Leader from Maap, Master
                                                           traditional name, though the individual might also have
      Builder, Host of Bechiyal Cultural Center
                                                           a Christian name.

								
To top