Micronesia Environmental Law Fellowship Program

This project focuses on increasing the capacity of the three Freely Associated States of Micronesia: The Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau, to protect their natural resources by enhancing the environmental law mechanisms in each jurisdiction. Specifically, this project will establish a Micronesia Environmental Law Fellow Program and place one environmental law fellow (“Fellow”) with the Attorney General Office or other appropriate agency in each jurisdiction. The Fellows will assist the jurisdictions in strengthening their existing environmental laws, supporting the development of new environmental laws, improve the capacity to prosecute resource management policy violation cases, ensure best practices are learned and shared locally and regionally, explore the establishment of Environmental Courts or dockets, and exploring appropriate penalties or punishments that turn violators into environment advocates as opposed to criminalizing them. The Fellows will increase the jurisdictions’ ability to enforce environmental regulations to reduce exposure to climate change's impacts, including sea level rise, floods, and other extreme events. This project will increase the engagement of all branches of government in the enforcement chain, including establishing more effective policies and natural resource management policy violations that will receive the appropriate attention and action needed to enhance island resilience and security. The judiciary branch plays a critical role in strengthening and interpreting environmental law and its institutionalization for the public interest in a healthy and secure environment.

Countries: The Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands

Partners: Palau Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Environment, Palau Attorney General’s Office, FSM Attorney General’s Office, RMI Attorney General’s Office, NOAA, and PIMPAC

Project Duration: October 2020 to June 2024

Funding Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Grant Amount: $435,000