FSM Hosts Meeting To Discuss Coconut, Biofuel Sectors
Vital Energy, Inc.
Kolonia, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
Sunday, March 4, 2013
A broad range of over 70 people from government, private sector, traditional leadership and civil society gathered here recently to set forth on a strategic plan of action to rehabilitate the coconut sector in the Federated States of Micronesia.
The Coconut Sector Strategy Design Team workshop was organized by the FSM Department of Resources and Development, with support from the FSM Coconut Development Authority, the FSM Office of Environment and Emergency Management, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and Vital Energy Inc.
During the workshop, state and municipal representatives from Kosrae, Yap, Chuuk and Pohnpei were introduced to the internationally proven Focused Results Delivery, or FRD, process for sector strategy design. The FRD process has been customized by the FSM Department of Resources and Development and Vital to address the unique requirements of the multicultural and multi-government context within the FSM.
A strategy for the coconut sector is a means for the national and state governments to achieve meaningful outcomes under both the national energy and agriculture policies already in place in the FSM. The strategic plan of action to be developed over the next 150-180 days will be market-led, private sector-driven and government supported.
Energy and agriculture, along with tourism and fisheries, are the identified long-term linchpins of the FSM economy.
These four sectors are also expected to develop coherent strategies for development and domestic growth beyond 2023, a prerogative of FSM President Manny Mori’s administration.
In late April or early May, the FSM will be hosting its first national investment symposium around the four linchpin sectors of the economy. A draft strategy should be in place that maps the value chain, identifies opportunities to create, retain and distribute value across the sector, and will offer focused investment opportunities for development partners.
At the recent one-day workshop, presentations were delivered by Department of Resources and Development Deputy Secretary Alissa Takesy, Coconut Development Authority GM Namio Nanpei, Office of Environment and Emergency Management Director Andrew Yatilman, Vital CEO Jared Morris and Vital CFO Mathias Lawrence.
In his presentation, Morris linked the broader long-term concerns of FSM PetroCorp, now known as Vital, to the concerns of people and their families. He noted that in the long view, Vital would diversify to meet the direction of the national energy policy. Ultimately, he said, the nation simply cannot afford to continue spending over $50 million annually for fossil fuel, and that it was “time to stop planning our actions and start actioning our plans.”
Takesy, Nanpei and Yatilman expounded on the critical need for a multi-stakeholder process, the essentiality of public policy support and that there must be private sector — business and civil society — involvement in order to achieve and maintain social and economic sustainability over time.
One of the primary outcomes of the workshop was the designation of a core strategy team which will visit each of the states over the next several months to undertake consultations with community groups, traditional leaders, the private sector, NGOs, farmers associations and governments to gain the necessary input and support toward the ultimate aims of increased productivity and contribution to jobs, business growth and alternative livelihoods throughout the FSM.