The Republic of Marshall Islands’ (RMI) Ridge to Reef Programme is offering four scholarships to students to complete their Postgraduate Diploma in Islands and Ocean Stewardship at The University of the South Pacific (USP) Marshall Islands Campus.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is funding the programme implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Marshall Islands Campus Director, Dr Brad Carte said that as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), the RMI strongly depends on natural resources and biodiversity for food and income.
“The Marshallese relationship with the islands forms the basis of its culture and way of life, which has developed in harmony over thousands of years. In the face of global threats, RMI still has pristine waters and coral reefs that contribute to ecosystem services and livelihoods,” he added.
“In recognition of the importance of its natural assets, RMI together with other SIDS responded to global conservation targets through the Micronesia Challenge and specifically for its part; it prepared Reimaanlok to serve as a clear roadmap of the way forward.”
He said this project aims to support operationalising the Reimaanlok – the National Conservation Area Plan, adopted in 2008 to effectively conserve at least 30% of the nearshore marine resources and 20% of the cultural resources across Micronesia by 2020.
“The project objective is to sustain atoll biodiversity and livelihoods by building community and ecosystem resilience to threats and degrading influences through integrated management of cultural and coastal resources. The principles and processes outlined in Reimaanlok will be implemented in 5 islands/atolls, the lessons from which will guide replication in other sites,” Dr Carte added.
He stated that one of the project outcomes is Knowledge Management, recognising the importance of training and building capacity of the Marshallese in environment management fields.
“Supporting professional training at tertiary level is one of the strategies to ensure that practitioners are adequately equipped with necessary skills and technical ‘know-how’ to be able to contribute to the sustainable management of RMI’s natural resources,” he continued.
To be eligible for the scholarships, candidates need to be Marshallese national; have an Undergraduate Degree with a GPA of at least 3.0, or an Associate Degree with GPA of at least 3.0; and a minimum of three years of professional experience in a related field.
The closing date for the new PGD-IOS programme is 25th February,2022 for Semester 1.