Micronesian island of Kosrae: the largest -- and last -- ka forest on the planet.

i was wondering if this true!! is ka forest the last forest to be untouch  on the planet or no?? i am not mad or anything  and it good that our forest is still untouch till today!! BUT WHAT IS THE REASON TO BRING UP ABOUT SOME FOREST?? LIKE PRETTY SOON THE FOREST WILL BE USEFUL IN NO TIME!! RATHER THAN SAVING THE FOREST, GATHER SOME CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AND BUILD A HOTEL, NOT SAFE IT

It is a sight that few in the world will ever have the chance to see, and it's a must-view for anyone who happens upon the tiny Micronesian island of Kosrae: the largest -- and last -- ka forest on the planet. These majestic, towering trees, scientifically known as Terminalia carolinensis, flourish in the Yela Valley of Kosrae, an undisturbed wetlands with perfect growing conditions for this majestic tree.

Several conservation groups recently achieved a milestone in making sure part of the 1,400-acre valley will remain undisturbed for generations to come. In March, the U.S. Forest Service, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, put together a $550,000 grant to purchase a conservation easement.

It's now held by the Kosrae Island Resource Management Authority.

Conservation easements, in which a landowner retains title to the land but agrees not to exercise development and other rights, is a promising conservation tool in Micronesia because they fit in traditional island cultures where usage rights traditionally overlap. The forests remain in the family, passed down through the generations.

This model keeps the ownership in the family while allowing sustainable traditional harvest and use of the natural lands, yet also prohibits future development and resource exploitation.

"It is very important for the people of Kosrae to protect the Yela ka forest because it gives the people of Kosrae a sense of pride for having something unique," said William William, Project Manager of the Yela Environment Landowners Authority (or YELA an organization formed by the family landowners).

The local families sought expertise from The Nature Conservancy to establish a legal conservation framework for their land. They've also added their own innovation by opting to use the proceeds to create an endowment that will ensure the forest's long-term conservation.

This new model of conservation unites local families, the Kosrae government, conservation groups and the federal government to protect this biologically rich part of the world.

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  • This revolutionary land deal also preserves the culture and traditions. The forest provides locals with freshwater, fish from the rivers and traditional medicine. The trunk and immense buttresses of the ka tree were traditionally used to make canoes, and the nuts are edible.

    "The biggest challenge for Micronesia -- as is for many, if not all, Pacific islands -- is to sustain conservation programs beyond the injection of foreign grants," said Willy Kostka of the Micronesia Conservation Trust. "This easement solves that challenge for the Yela landowners and conservation partners and will serve as a model for the rest of Micronesia and the wider Pacific."

    "Instead of the person or persons who sign the sale agreement solely benefitting from the sale proceeds, as is often the case in the U.S., the Alik family has invested that income into a trust fund managed by the Micronesia Conservation Trust," said Mike Conner, a senior project director for The Nature Conservancy. "Every year after a forest inspection shows the terms of the easement have been upheld, each of the families will receive a payment nearly the average salary on Kosrae now, and for future generations."

    Katie Friday, cooperative forester with the USDA Forest Service, said the payment fund for the easement came from:

    • $160,000 from the Packard Foundation through the Micronesian Conservation Trust; and

    • $390,000 from the USDA Forest Service.

    "The Forest Service is thrilled to be a part of this precedent-setting watershed protection effort ongoing with the Yela watershed project, and the collaboration amongst partners has been exceptional," said Deputy Regional Forester Jeanne Wade Evans. "The Forest Legacy program continues to be an important tool to prevent loss of critical forestland to climate change stressors and other uses. By engaging local partners in the use of conservation easements, we hope to further expand these conservation efforts."

    Alik Alik, vice president of the Federated States of Micronesia, said: "These conservation projects help meet the goals of the Micronesia Challenge, an ambitious commitment by five Micronesian governments -- the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the U.S. territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands -- to 'effectively conserve at least 30 percent of the near-shore marine resources and 20 percent of the terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020,' ultimately to strike a critical balance between the need to use their natural resources today and the need to sustain those resources for future generations."

  • Now the FSM wants to move forward with "niche" tourism as one sectors to push. Kosrae could define niche in three ways: 1. A green, lush, and pristine destination; 2. A mega center for religious gatherings where various church groups (cults) gather to showcase their singing; 3. A place full of good looking people that would attract other good looking people.

    Mentioning hotels build over a pristine, natural forest is like flicking boogers at this economic strategy set in place by the FSM. There ain't nothing niche about building hotels and beer guzzling bars, those have already dotted the shores of Guam all the way to the man-made shores of Dubai. But of course, unless you put that as bait to distract and deviate the FSM and Kosrae from its niche plans knowing that we have the tendency to say one thing and do the opposite.
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