Concerned Citizens Group has composed a sincere advice for all Yapese land owners. The file is downloadable in three versions: English, Thin ni Waab (old orthography), Thin ni Waab (new orthography). Here are the links:
English version: http://naturesway.fm/archives/etg/ccg/flyer/ver1_bw_en.pdf
Thin ni Waab (old orthography): http://naturesway.fm/archives/etg/ccg/flyer/ver1_bw_waab_old.pdf
Thin ni Waab (new orthography): http://naturesway.fm/archives/etg/ccg/flyer/ver1_bw_waqab_new.pdf
In the document, Concerned Citizens Group has clearly explained who are are, what our proposition is in terms of development and tourism, what is the foreseeable economic future for Yap in 2023. No matter what stance you might take concerning ETG’s investment in Yap, we highly recommend you to read the document.
We deeply appreciate Nature’s Way for uploading those files.
Fal’ngin ngea Yalean Tafeadaed
Concerned Citizens Group
Who is CCG and What is its Goal?
Concerned Citizens Group (CCG) is organized by the people from all municipalities including neighboring islands of Yap State to request the State Government to refrain from the ongoing ETG’s proposed development.
CCG envisions that it will cause irrecoverable impacts on our society, culture and environment because of;
a. Its massive scale and a lengthy duration (99 years and more) of the
b. The ill-preparation for local land owners to negotiate with foreign
investors on land-leasing.
c. The lack of transparency in our government’s decision-making process.
Is CCG “anti-development”?
No, CCG is NOT against all developments or foreign investors from any
CCG supports a development as long as it is environmentally safe,
culturally preserving, and economically favorable, and as long as the
people of Yap have a say in all aspects of development projects.
What kind of Development is Suitable for Yap?
People of Yap need to set up their own standard based on the environment,
resources, location, etc., before thinking of any development. Because
Yap is a small island far from other islands or continents, development
needs to be diversified.
This is why sustainable fisheries and bio-diverse gardening are inherent
in our culture so that, as long as we take care of our soil and reef,
they will provide us food, health and a place to live forever.
With our basic life secured, we can extend our trades within Yap and beyond, if it’s feasible.
This is where the government of Yap can help in developing local produce
marketing, supporting the local private sectors to grow and setting up
functions of research and protection of natural resources in the state,
instead of just depending on a major tourism development by foreign
Isn’t Tourism Development the Best for Yap?
Tourism is always dependant on conditions outside of Yap. Number of
tourists is easily affected by the economy, foreign relations or even an
epidemic, all of which are out of our control. Heavily depending on
tourism will not make a healthy economic development. Small scale
ecotourism development is suitable to Yap.
What is “Ecotourism”?
Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that
conserves the environment and sustains the well being of local people”,
by trying to minimize impacts, build environmental awareness, provide
direct financial benefits for conservation, provide financial benefits
and empowerment for local people, respect local culture,
and support human rights and democratic movements.
Will we Suffer after 2023 when the US Compact Money Stops?
Not likely if our basic life is secured. Also there may be possibilities
of the compact being renewed but the funds will diminish. FSM/Yap State
can still apply for grants and scholarships from many other nations
As You Know;
Use of each piece of land in Yap is subject to the decisions and
interests of more than one person to ensure order and stability of the
The decision on land leasing to ETG should not be between only a land
owner and ETG because neighboring land owners will be directly impacted.
A western style land lease agreement may not apply to Yap’s complex
rules of land tenure that is granted by the Yap State Constitution.
The signed Cooperative Investment Agreement between Yap State Governor and ETG specifically states that ETG cannot develop its Project until and unless the Master Plan is approved.
If land leases are signed before the State approves the Master Plan that
ETG has not submitted yet, such land leases are invalid.
Before Signing on any paper with ETG;
Get assistance from a lawyer who is NOT working closely with ETG even
he/she is a Yapese.
Landowners should not let the potential tenant dictate the terms of the
agreement, particularly to the detriment of the landowner’s core
Followings are some basics to be considered in a ground lease agreement:
1. Lease agreements must have a definite duration and definite date for
2. All improvements made on leased land by the lessee (ETG) must become
the property of the lessor (landowners) with no cost, when the lease
3. Landowners must have a say over how the leased land is developed and
what sort of activities can occur on the developed land.
4. If lessee (ETG) intends to sublease any of its interest in the leased land to another party, it must be stated in the lease agreement.