FSMPIO - The Federated States of Micronesia (“FSM”) Department of Resources and Development together with Vital-FSMPC recently participated in the 59th International Coconut Community (“ICC”) Session and Ministerial Meeting in Lampung, Indonesia from 5th – 7th of December 2023.
The ICC Session and Ministerial Meeting is the highest decision-making body of the community covering 21 countries from the regions of Asia, Pacific, Americas, and Africa and is an annual event that allow member countries to discuss, deliberate and consider policy decisions which can drive the coconut sector globally as well as at their respective countries.
The previous 2 sessions were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year, the three-day event took place in person in Indonesia, with FSM represented by the FSM R&D Assistant Secretary for the Division of Trade and Investment, Mr. Florian Yatilman and Vital-FSMPC staff Mr. Peterson Anson and Mr. Eric Defan.
During the official country presentation, Mr. Yatilman placed emphasis on the FSM Coconut National Export Strategy (“CocoNES”) as the first ever sector-specific export strategy for the nation and stated the strategy’s potential to elevate the sector in the years to come, and that “…we envisage this strategy as being the backbone to realize the huge potential for which our coconut sector holds. The strategy with its plan of actions will promote sustainable farming, improving livelihoods especially in the rural communities, presenting employment opportunities, income generation and promoting economic growth.”
It was also shared that issues such as farmer migration, climate change, land fertility and pests and diseases present challenges to the coconut sector. However, presentations by the ICC Secretariat show a positive growth and outlook for the sector on the global scale where the FSM Coconut National Export Strategy provides a comprehensive roadmap for a collective approach for all sector players, development partners, and stakeholders with renewed interest to move the sector forward.
In his closing remarks Mr. Yatilman stressed again on the vitality of the CocoNES to the 78 participants where he expressed, “The importance of the FSM Coconut Export Strategy is that it aligns with FSM’s Strategic Development Plans and the UN Sustainable Development Goals”, He also stated that “The FSM seeks assistance from the ICC and observer organizations in areas such capacity building, technical and funding support in the implementation of the CocoNES”.