The Marshall Islands Ministry of Natural Resources and Commerce (NRC) in collaboration with the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT), conducted a four-day database workshop from July 23rd-26th
The purpose of the workshop was to provide training to local stakeholders to enable them to access, summarize and analyze the RMI Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data, which is collected every ten years by the US Forest Service (USFS) and field crew from across the Pacific. In 2018, along with the regular FIA plots, 20 new plots were installed in terrestrial conservation areas across the RMI. Already established, the FIA was identified as a method for collecting terrestrial data for the Micronesia Challenge. In order to adequately monitor conservation and biologically significant terrestrial landscapes, it was necessary to install additional plots at greater intensity.
The training was conducted by data analyst Julian Dendy, a consultant for the USFS, and Roseo Marquez, the Micronesia Challenge Terrestrial Champion based at MCT. Participants from the following offices and organizations were in attendance: The Ministry of Resources and Commerce, the Marshall Islands Conservation Society, Office of Environment, Planning and Policy Coordination and the Ridge to Reef Project, Economic Policy, Planning and Statistics Office, the National Energy Office and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (RMI).
The trainees learned to navigate the large FIA database, how to construct data queries, and most importantly, answer questions the RMI has regarding its forest resources. The FIA data can help the RMI understand the condition of forest across the country, including the status of coconut, pandanus, and breadfruit trees, in addition to our most common native tree and plant species. The FIA data can also contribute to the assessment of agroforest in RMI and support our policymakers in developing ideas and actions related to sustainable use and conservation of RMI terrestrial resources. This was the first training of its kind in Micronesia at the request of the NRC. For more information on the FIA and the Micronesia Challenge terrestrial data collection across the region, please visit: https://mcterrestrialmeasures.org/.