Tuesday, December 22, 2009

MCT tackles military buildup mitigation plans

MCT tackles military buildup mitigation plans

Wednesday, 23 December 2009 04:25 Varitey News Staff

(MCT)--The Micronesia Conservation Trust Board of Trustees hosted a breakfast yesterday to discuss the trust’s work in Micronesia and inform key stakeholders about environmental mitigation proposals to help protect and restore Guam’s natural resources from impacts associated with the military buildup.

The trust, or MCT, is a not-for-profit corporation established to support biodiversity conservation by providing grants and capacity building/training support to local organizations and communities across the Micronesia region including Guam, the CNMI, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and Marshall Islands.

On Guam, MCT is working with the Guam Governor’s Office, the Natural Resource Subcommittee, the Army Corps of Engineers and other relevant federal agencies to apply as an In Lieu Fee Program Sponsor in support of some of the projects that will be required to mitigate impacts associated with the military build-up in Guam.

MCT Board members and partner agencies met with members of the legislature to discuss the proposal and what it will mean for the island.

Senators expressed several concerns about the buildup and highlighted issues for further discussion or legislation, including a mechanism to make local school groups and non-profit organizations eligible for additional funding for projects.

“I am pleased so many Senators showed an interest in the ILF program and look forward to more discussions as Guam and MCT continue working on mitigation issues,” said William Kostka, MCT executive director.

MCT plans to submit their ILF application to the Army Corps of Engineers in early February. If approved, the program could mean millions of dollars to support natural resource conservation projects in Guam as the buildup progresses and beyond.

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