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Hawaii, territories sign agreement for ocean management priorities

reporters@samoanews.com

Hawai’i Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the governors of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (CNMI), and Guam recently signed a partnership agreement to assist the region in identifying coastal and ocean management priorities that require a coordinated regional response and increased collaboration.

According to a copy of the six-page Pacific Regional Ocean Partnership document released by Abercombie’s office, Gov. Togiola Tulafono signed the agreement on Aug. 22. Togiola was is  in Rarotonga, Cook Islands as of yesterday for meetings and there is no official comment from his office about the agreement.

In a news release on Thursday, Abercrombie said this “regional partnership will enhance our ability to work cooperatively in addressing stewardship of our oceans and coastal areas for future generations.”

“Although we are separated by thousands of miles, our islands are tied together by one ocean as well as shared heritage and cultural traditions, and great value placed on our natural resources and the environment,” he said.

The PROP, a living document, identifies 10 regional objectives, and includes promoting regional sustainability of resources that supports individual state requirements; and foster cooperation and collaboration on all aspects of ocean and coastal-related research and development, education, exploration and observation, and oceans management.

Additionally, facilitate preservation of the historical, cultural and social heritage of each state and the region; and identify opportunities for collaborative work in the ocean and coastal environment.

According to Abercombie’s office, the state of Hawaii Office of Planning is working with designees from American Samoa, CNMI, and Guam to implement the PROP.



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