The Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies to Support More Micronesia Challenge Activities Across Micronesia

July 26, 2021

Pakin Atoll, Pohnpei

Coral reef monitoring member collecting data

The Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) was recently awarded a grant of $850,000 from the US-based Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP), to support ongoing Micronesia Challenge (MC) programs and activities across Micronesia. The purpose of the project is to further build the resilience of Micronesian communities and ecosystems to better withstand the impacts of increasing stressors from climate change and global warming by expanding the protection of the region’s most critical natural resources.

Capitalizing on previous funding from MACP, the accomplishments under the MC to date, and at the direction of the updated MC2030 goals, the project outcomes will support the continued efforts with governments and communities to meet the updated MC conservation targets and support the region’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (focusing on but not limited to: 13 Life on Land, 14 Life Below Water, and 15 Climate Action). Specifically, this project will include support for the expansion and improvement of the Protected Areas networks including: funding to continue MCT’s small grants program which directs funding to communities to implement locally led initiatives on the ground; support capacity building for both Micronesia Challenge Bill Raynor Graduate-level scholars and the Micronesians in Island Conservation mentorship program; funding to support significant gaps for the MC indicator monitoring and data gathering (specifically terrestrial and socio-economic monitoring); strengthen fisheries management through planning and enforcement initiatives; and, ensure that awareness of the efforts and the benefits of protecting ecosystems and their services are shared with Micronesian youth.

“This is a welcome grant to those who are working on the frontlines and implementing solutions to help our communities better cope with the impacts of climate change” says William Kostka, MCT Executive Director. Micronesian states and territories, like many small developing island states around the world, contribute the least to climate change, but are having to deal with most of its impacts. However, Micronesians have always been resourceful and resilient peoples and refuse to lay down in defeat.

Through the Micronesia Challenge and other initiatives, they are finding local solutions to build their own resilience.

MCT looks forward to working with our partners through a Request for Proposals (RFP) and other efforts. Please contact Tamara Greenstone-Alefaio ( for more information.